At the request of Archbishop John Wilson, Canon Victor Darlington and his team launched Caritas Southwark at a dedicated Mass at St George's Cathedral in March 2023. Meet the team, area leads and project leaders below.
Canon Victor Darlington
Episcopal Vicar for the South East Area
Canon Victor Darlington joined the Archdiocese of Southwark in 2006 and was Assistant Priest for the parish of English Martyrs Church in Strood until 2011, when he was appointed as Parish Priest to Sacred Heart Church in Camberwell.
In 2021, Canon Victor was appointed Episcopal Vicar of the Commission for Promoting Racial Justice and Cultural Inclusion in the Archdiocese, and as one of the presiding Deans of the South East area.
Canon Victor holds a bachelor’s degree in Religions Studies from the University of Ibadan, and a bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology from the Urban University, Rome. He obtained a licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Biblicum in Rome, and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Angelicum in Rome. He is fluent in English, Italian, Esan, Bini and Yoruba languages.
From 2008 to 2021 he was a part-time lecturer at St John's Seminary in Wonersh, Guildford, and he currently lectures at the Diaconate Formation Programme for England and Wales. As a Biblical Scholar, he gives talks around the country and internationally on the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles.
For many years now Canon Victor has worked to tackle the scourge of knife crime on the streets of London. He has championed a range of community initiatives to support victims and to prevent young people, especially those from deprived backgrounds, from being involved in gangs and violence. He has also worked on different parish-based and community projects aimed at de-escalating racial tensions and supporting diversity and equality through the lens of the Gospel.
Caritas Administrative Team
Image Above (left to right): Hipo Eze, Canon Victor Darlington and Carmel Urbanoviez
Administrative Assistant to Canon Victor Darlington
Tel: 0333 188 1385 | Email: email@example.com
PA to Canon Victor Darlington
Tel: 07986 542993 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Park House, 6a Creswell Park, Blackheath, London SE3 9RD
Office Tel: 0333 188 1385
Office Email: email@example.com
Photo (Left to Right): Fr Erhahon, Deacon Smith, Canon Darlington & Fr Alabi
The Area Leads are the Grassroot Research Facilitators for Caritas Southwark,
The Area Leads work closely with Canon Victor Darlington to facilitate research meetings, as they did at the Caritas Formation Day in November 2022. They collate data, review the information and provide an overview of the scope, limits and opportunities of projects. They are required to be both flexible and adaptable in order to work and forge links between parishioners, non-parish-based charities and other leads.
Facilitator for the South-West Area
Father Valentine Erhahon
Father Valentine is currently the Parish Priest at Sts Simon and Jude RC Church, Streatham Hill
Facilitator for the South-East Area
Father Samuel Alabi
Father Samuel is currently Parish Priest at Our Lady of the Rosary RC Church, Brixton
Facilitator for Kent
Deacon Martin Smith
Deacon Martin is currently assigned to St Simon Stock RC Church, Walderslade Parish
Project Theme Leaders
The Project Leaders are responsible for developing each theme and offering guidance to those facilitating social action in the community.
Each leader heads up a project team that will develop according to need. As the work of the Commission progresses, guideline documents will be made available.
Diverting Young People from Crime
Heads of Project Theme: Patrick Shields and Jonathan Ronan
Patrick Shields: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Ronan: email@example.com
Patrick has worked in Catholic Schools since qualifying as an RE teacher. He has a significant experience as a headteacher, working with partner organisations, to steer young people away from criminal activity and serious youth violence.
Jonathan has worked in Catholic education for a number of years and is currently Principal of an inner-city Catholic Secondary school in the Southwark Diocese. He has a wealth of experience as an educator, working alongside other colleagues, families, and outside agencies across Lewisham and South East London to divert young people from crime.
Poverty Relief Programmes & Food Bank Support
Head of Project Theme: Paul Jackson
Paul Jackson is the Head of Finance for the Archdiocese of Southwark. His commitment to Caritas will focus largely on foodbanks and beyond that, how Caritas Southwark can assist in relieving family hardship. Paul's team will be looking at building relationships between parishes and schools, as well as local relief services to fill the unmet tangible needs of the community. Initially, the focus will be on finding examples of good practice already taking place in the Diocese.
Care of Older Adults
Head of Project Theme: Sarah Wood:
Sarah Wood manages Human Resources for the Archdiocese of Southwark and will lead the Care of Older Adults project, focussing on different ways to relieve loneliness, offer support and include the elderly in our Catholic community.
Migrants and Refugees
Head of Project Theme: Mark Nash
Mark Nash joined the diocese in 2014 with over seven years' experience promoting and supporting small Christian communities in the Diocese of Westminster. He completed a Ph.D. in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham in 2007. Together with his wife, Rachel, he set up House on Rock, a family publishing firm, in 2014 providing parish resources. A father of four, Mark became Director of the Centre for Catholic Formation in 2016 and now heads up its successor, the Agency for Evangelisation and Catechesis. Mark also serves the Archdiocese as Co-Director for the Ongoing Formation of Priests.
In relation to Caritas Southwark, Mark and his team will be leading the way in exploring and implementing schemes aimed at actively supporting refugees and migrants.
'Ubi Caritas et amor, Deus ibi est'.
Where there is charity and love, God is there.