SVP (Saint Vincent De Paul)

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, or as it is perhaps better known, the S.V.P. was founded at the Parisian University of the Sorbonne in1833 by Fredric Ozanam. At the time he was a 20-year-old student and with five friends he formed a small group who set about helping the oppressed and the poor. They named their society after St Vincent de Paul who lived from 1581 to 1660, and whose life was devoted to helping the under-privileged. He is still the patron of Christian charity.

The first SVP meeting in England took place on 12th February 1844, eleven years after those first beginnings in France. As the Catholic population expanded so too did the SVP. It was at the forefront in the development of Catholic education and social reform and instrumental in developing the Catholic press and founding “The Universe”. In 1967 women joined the society and now 45% of the membership is female.

Today’s SVP ( is an international organisation of lay Christian volunteers actively working in 130 countries working with those in need on a person to person basis, regardless of creed colour or political belief.

Here at St Joseph’s we currently have eight members, six men and two women. One of our main activities in the parish is to visit people at home, in hospital and in the many nursing homes. We provide taxis to enable some of our elderly to get to Sunday Mass. We financially support many local and national charities. We are also twinned with a very poor parish in South West India. More details of the twinnage scheme are available here.

There isn’t any youth conference in this area, but details of how to start one up are available at this website.

We meet as a conference in the presbytery each Sunday after the 9.30am Mass. More details available from Bill Drake in person or email this website.

Men’s, ladies and children’s clothes and shoes are urgently needed for their shop. Items can be left at the Parish Office, Lake Road (Mon, Wed and Thurs 9.00-3.00pm and Fri 1.00-4.00pm) or can be collected. Telephone 01253 732939.