Whenever there are people in need of food, drink, clothing, housing, medicine, employment or education, wherever men lack the facilities necessary for living a truly human life or are afflicted with serious distress or illness or suffer exile or imprisonment, Christians should seek them out, console them and help them with appropriate relief.

Vatican II

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What is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP)

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) is an international Christian voluntary organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing direct practical assistance to anyone in need. The SVP was founded in 1833 to serve impoverished people living in the slums of Paris, France. The primary figure behind the society’s founding was Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a French lawyer, author, and professor in the Sorbonne. He was 20 years old when the society was founded and he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

The Society numbers about 1.3m members in some 148 countries worldwide, whose members operate through “conferences”. A conference may be based at a church, community centre, school, hospital, etc., and is composed of Catholic volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to help those in need in their community. Non-Catholics may join with the understanding that the society is a Catholic organisation.St Winefride’s Church, Kew – SVP Conference

A small group of parishioners form the St Winefride’s SVP Conference. Typical activities including visiting the sick, the housebound or those in need. These may be young or old people and may be for short or extended periods. We help with shopping, hospital appointments, transport to Mass or simply by giving friendly support. We try to help those with financial difficulties with small amounts of assistance and offer companionship to those who have been bereaved, are lonely, housebound or are faced with some practical difficulties.

A key feature of the SVP’s work is that of complete discretion. We do not discuss individual cases or share the identity of those whom we help with others.

We normally organise two special Masses each year. One is for those who are sick in the parish and the other is for the parishioners and their family members who have died during the year.

We are financed entirely by donations received from the Parish, through collections and fund raising events. Some parishioners generously place money in the collecting box at the back of the Church, or make gifts, legacies or bequests.

Getting in touch

If you wish to contact the St Winefride’s SVP Conference to ask for help; to refer us to somebody in need; to offer your help or support; please give Fr. Tom your contact details and he will pass these on to us.