The St Vincent de Paul Society was established in England and Wales in 1844. It has been committed for over 160 years to providing practical assistance for those in need. Membership is open to Christian men and women who wish to live their faith by loving their neighbour in the service of the needy. The SVP is currently active in 1200 parishes and in over 100 Youth SVP groups across England and Wales.
The core work of the SVP is befriending: sitting side by side with those who are isolated for whatever reason. Last year our 10,000 members made 625,000 visits to people in need. As a result of these visits more than 110,000 individuals gained friendship, support and practical assistance. This was as a direct result of the 22,000 volunteer hours a week which SVP members committed to the Vincentian work. Read about the work of Birtley St. Joseph's Conference in our Conference Report.
Concern into Action
The SVP's motto is "Turning Concern into Action". The regular visits, through which relationships based on friendship and trust are formed, are a very real way of doing this. Members of the SVP sit side by side with individuals and families; the sick at home or in hospitals; with people in residential homes; and with people in offender institutes to offer support. Activities vary from Conference to Conference and members carry out a range of work, including organising social events and masses for the sick and housebound.
As well as this very practical aspect of Vincentian work, SVP members are encouraged to grow in spirituality through their relationships with those they seek to help, through prayer and reflection, and also through the Eucharist.
If you are interested in joining the Birtley Conference SVP or volunteering at an SVP project, please contact us by emailing: Birtley Conference SVP or telephone 07561 190 396.
Annual Mass for the Sick
Birtley SVP's Annual Mass for the Sick, Elderly & Housebound is held in St Joseph's Church, Birtley, usually on a Saturday in the month of July, followed by afternoon tea, bingo and a raffle in the Parish Centre. When arranged, the date of the Mass is published on the 'Parish Events' page of this website. Click on the 'Photography' link above to view the photographs of past SVP events.
More information is available from the SVP National Office on the SVP website
The SVP is a national Society and even if you can't get involved at a local level, you can support the SVP nationally if you wish. You could:
•Join the Friends of the SVP.
•Tell others about the SVP.
•Pray for our work.