The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, was originally known as The Conference of Charity, and was founded in Paris on 23rd April 1833 by Frederic Ozanam. Frederic led a group of six Sorbonne University students, who met with a middle-aged journalist, Emmanuel Baily, to form a group. Their purpose was simple: as a small group of friends, they would become servants of the poor in Paris – in the same way that Jesus Christ had been servant to the people of his time.
Frederic and his friends began to live the Gospel command 'show love to your neighbour' by visiting those living in dreadful poverty, and bringing what food and comfort they could. Others were moved by their example to commit themselves to serving the poor. They chose to call their group the Society of St Vincent de Paul, based on the exemplary charitable life led by Vincent.
Within our parish, the core work of our SVP conference, consists of meeting on a regular basis, visits to the elderly, and the housebound, providing practical and emotional support through one to one contact. Visits are made to people in a variety of environments including residential homes, and hospitals. As well as personal contact, material help is also given to those in need, for example families may be assisted with budgeting or assistance with maintaining critical home heating. Although the SVP is a Christian charity, help is given to anyone in need with no discrimination on the grounds of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
Beyond the parish, the SVP runs various community projects such as provision for the socially excluded, with services dedicated to their needs at the Drop-in Support Centre in Leeds, and the St. Jude’s furniture store, and community shops which provide good quality affordable furniture and clothing.
The SVP also organises summer camps for children who would not otherwise have a holiday and is able to offer a limited number of family holidays at SVP owned caravans.
If you would like to know more or would like to join our SVP Group, please contact the Parish Office.