News from Life

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has generously supported Life for over 20 years through the Second Collection for Life, raising more than £550,000 over that time.

Imagine being able to make a gift that extends through generations, multiplying many times over, that brings more love and life into the world.

That’s your opportunity on Sunday 11 February, when the Archdiocese of Birmingham is holding a Second Collection for the work of Life, one of the nation’s leading pregnancy support charities.

Life empowers women facing unexpected pregnancy, gives them a safe space in which to make pregnancy decisions, and helps them make the transition into early motherhood. In fact, Life helped 2,012 women in the last 18 months in the Archdiocese of Birmingham area alone – not to mention the tens of thousands of women they helped nationally, too.

Life does this through their pregnancy care National Helpline – inspired by the Samaritans – as well as a network of Life Houses around the country (including two in the Archdiocese – one in Oxfordshire and one in the Black Country) and distribution of free pregnancy tests and maternity supplies (including from Life Centres in Walsall, Wolverhampton, and Stratford-on-Avon).

One of their clients, Cassie, shares how Life made a life-changing difference: 

“I became pregnant through a short-lived, abusive, and coercive relationship. Only a couple of months in and the pregnancy had become too much. I decided that the only way out for me was to terminate my pregnancy. 

“I searched high and low online for answers to my conflicting questions, which led me to Life. I felt dread and hopelessness at every avenue but decided to give them a call regardless. 

“This one call changed everything for me. I spoke with one of the Life listeners for as long as I needed. She listened, she let me cry, and she let me discuss every dark corner of my mind. In return I received empowerment, encouragement, and warmth from her. I felt understood from every angle.

“With more sessions the scary thoughts of ‘what if’, ‘I won’t be able to give this child a good life’, and ‘I can’t do this’ started to slowly break away and I could finally see a more harmonious way forwards with my pregnancy.   

“The obstacles throughout my pregnancy weren’t always easy. But Life were constantly on hand to offer me further support and to ease my situational worries even down to helping me with nursery items.

“Three years later and I am now a mother to the most beautiful little boy. Our lives are positive and bright. He is by far the greatest gift I could have ever been given and he has definitely aided my healing journey in every way.

“I would urge anyone who is struggling, feeling confused, or worried to please give Life a call and just like me, receive a warm and friendly listening ear, without any judgment.”

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has generously supported Life for over 20 years through the Second Collection for Life, raising more than £550,000 over that time. The legacy this leaves is tremendous – babies carry families and communities into the future, and we as a community accept and care for those experiencing unexpected pregnancy.

Speaking at a Mass for Life on 12 December 2023, Archbishop Bernard Longley commended Life and reiterated his admiration for its staff and volunteers. 

Archbishop Longley said: “The Gospel of Life underscores the abiding value of human lives at every moment along life’s way.” He referred to Life’s founding in the Archdiocese of Birmingham by Prof Jack Scarisbrick MBE and his wife Nuala, two devout Catholics. He concluded, “I offer this Mass in thanksgiving that the members of Life are today finding new ways to enable people, young and old, to cherish life.”

Explore Life’s work and get involved in the mission

If you’d like to volunteer as a Church Champion for Life, contact [email protected] for more details.

Photograph: Two of the mothers – and their children! – that you have helped through your contributions to Life.