The St. Vincent de Paul Society is an international Christian charity which befriends those in need and provides them with practical assistance. It has been established in England and Wales since 1844, where there are currently over 10,000 volunteer members involved in its work.
The Society became established here at St. Mary’s on 9th December, 1907 and has continued uninterrupted since. The major part of our work nowadays is visiting elderly people, whether in their own home, or in residential or nursing homes. In the year to March 2014 more than 400 such visits were made.
“ Recently someone remarked that they thought that there was no longer 7 days in a week. I’m inclined to agree, because here I am giving an SVP report for another year, which seems hardly credible as the previous report seems so recent. However we carried on doing what we can for those in our community whom we visit, the housebound, the lonely, the sick, those in residential homes or hospital. In addition we respond to miscellaneous calls for our services. For the year to 31st March 2017 these total approximately 400 visits.
We continue to support our twinned conference in India by sending £150 in quarterly instalments. In a recent letter they outlined some of their activities. Education is essential to lift people out of poverty and our ‘twin’ pays children’s school fees, provides them with school requisites such as pens, books and clothing. Poor families are helped with food and clothing and, houses damaged by a violent storm were repaired. To mark the Year of Mercy the conference joined with others to build a home for a poor homeless widow and her young son. What they achieve is wonderful and we are delighted to be twinned with them. Of course we are conscious of the fact that much of this would not be possible were it not for the faithfulness to our church door collections and anonymous donations. On behalf of those we assist at home and overseas we say, “A big Thank You and God bless your generous hearts.” There is no boundary to works of charity and they are carried out in spite of seemingly impossible situations.” Leo. G