St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP)


Contact: Josie Williams

Membership Criteria: Open to adults of all denominations.

Meetings Time & Location: Times TBD. St Wulstan's Parish Room.

Purpose of Group: The SVP is a lay Christian organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing practical assistance to those in need.

Activities of Group: A member attends regular meetings (scripture discussion, prayer, reflection and practical planning of local work) and is involved in charitable works including home visitation.

Web Site:

Group Projects: Supporting students in India in various occupations, i.e. nurses and engineers.

Calendar of Group Events:

Fri 24 June – Afternoon Tea – at St Wulstan’s
Sat 15 or 22 October –Mass of Anointing – at OLG (date to be confirmed with priests)

The SVP Story

The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is a lay international Christian voluntary organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing practical assistance to those in need – irrespective of ideology, faith, ethnicity, age or gender. It seeks, in the spirit of justice and charity, to help those who are suffering poverty in any form.

The SVP was founded in Paris in 1833 in revolutionary France and if you know of the play Les Miserables, you might know something of the poverty of that time. Led by Frederick Ozanam, a group of 6 Sorbonne University students and a journalist formed the St Vincent de Paul Society. They wanted to serve the poor of Paris, just as Jesus Christ had served the people of his time. That same night they pooled together what money they had and bought firewood for a poor family. The SVP, named after the exemplary charitable life of St Vincent de Paul, has a mission to respond to the call every Christian receives to bring the love of Christ to those we serve in the spirit of the Gospel message.

The SVP spread around the world quickly, reaching England in 1844. Although active in 131 countries with nearly a million volunteer members, most SVP work is carried out on a local basis. In our Diocese of Northampton over half of the parishes have SVP conferences.

The St Wulstan’s conference has been active for over 65 years. Once upon a time we mainly helped people who were financially poor or unemployed. More recently, needs have changed and, while there are still people who need material support, there are many with other needs. There are people with mental health problems, single parent mothers with poor housing conditions and little support from their families, there are people who simply find life too difficult to cope with and many lonely people, including those in nursing homes.

The SVP aims to provide Support and Friendship through face-to-face contact, respecting the dignity and wishes of every person we work with. We try to provide immediate help to the needy and enable them to be self-sufficient in the long run. We are committed to working for a more just and caring society and our members aim not to judge. We respect the religious liberty of all and help anyone without distinction or prejudice.

We are also committed to the relief of poverty and distress throughout the world by sharing what we have with our brothers and sisters overseas.


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