The charity Progressio has been forced to close after its funding dried up.

Martin McEnery, chairman of the charity’s trustees, announced the news “with great sadness” in a letter to supporters.

He said that “the funding landscape has become increasingly competitive” and that the charity had been unable to replace a £2 million grant from the Department for International Development, which will come to an end in December.

Progressio was founded in 1940 as The Sword of the Spirit, with the support of Cardinal Arthur Hinsley.

In 1965, it was renamed the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR).

Later it was renamed again in reference to Blessed Pope Paul VI’s 1967 social encyclical, Populorum Progressio.

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