St Vincent de Paul Society
St Vincent de Paul
The Society (a Registered Charity) is a lay international Christian organisation. Catholic in origin, character and tradition, it offers friendship and help to the homeless, unemployed and others in need. Assistance is based on personal contact with those in need. The Society’s policy is that we help people regardless of colour, race or creed and we work on personal contact – one to one - not merely referring someone on to another organisation. SVP’s actions follow Christ’s teachings as outlined in St Matthew’s Gospel – ‘Lord when did I do these things for you?” Our Lord replied: ‘When you did it for the least of my brothers, you did it for me’ (cf. Matt. 25:37-40). In his letter, St James writes: “Faith, without good works, is dead!” (James 2:27).
All Conferences (local parish groups) need men, women and young people to reach out to those in need. All members hold a DBS certificate because we are helping vulnerable adults and children.
In 2021 the SVP will have had an active Conference in Christchurch for 100 years, an anniversary we hope to mark with a celebration.
The work undertaken by Christchurch members is visiting the house bound and visiting the local hospitals. Callers at the Church door needing help are often referred to members who can help in various small ways – be it a contact with the Food Bank, or donating vouchers for local food shops. The visits are undertaken by 2 members at a time, so the more members the Society has can mean more people can be visited. These visits are arranged to suit both the receiver and the givers – there is no set time each week for visits to be undertaken.
Bl. Frédéric Ozanam
Founder of the SVP
Some of the work for the past year has included helping with furniture, delivering hampers at Christmas with donations from St Thomas More School, and financially helping youngsters attend the St John Bosco summer camps so that the youngsters have a holiday. The foreign coins left in the blue box at the back of the church by parishioners help to finance the work.
Because the Society’s work is personal to each case (as it must be), very few people know of the SVP, which is a pity.
The Eltham Conference meets fortnightly at the Priory on a Monday evening at 6.30 pm.
All enquiries for help or to become a member should be addressed to the Parish Office at email@example.com or 0208 850 1666.