You may be aware that a few of us from the parish are members of the St Vincent de Paul Society here at St Swithun’s with Fr. Marcin as our spiritual advisor.
We wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little about what we do and to let you know we are always looking for new people to join or people that we may be able to help.
History of St Vincent De Paul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul began in Paris, France, in 1833 when a young law student at the Sorbonne, Frédéric Ozanam, was challenged during a debate to demonstrate what he and his fellow Catholic students were personally doing to help the poor in Paris. Ozanam’s reaction was immediate. Within weeks, Ozanam, at 20 years of age, and six of his peers formed the first “Conference of Charity.” Under the conference, this group of seven men financed their works of charity out of their own pockets and from contributions of friends. They visited the poor in their homes, providing them with needed aid and assistance. Within a few years, the original group of seven grew to 600, spreading to 15 other cities and towns in France, numbering more than 2,000 members. In 1844 a group of men came together in London and started the first group in Britain.
This is inspired by Christ’s message to love our neighbour as ourselves, is for individuals and families who are in any form of need to have hope together with a sense of dignity, worth, well-being and peace of mind.
Our Mission is to seek and find those in need, to help them in a spirit of justice and to tackle the causes of poverty where we can.
What do we do? -Befriending is at the heart of what we do and we take referrals for people who may be lonely, isolated or in financial difficulty who need our help. We aim to make contact with these people and with their permission continue to provide an informal befriending service to them.
The essence of our work really is person-to-person contact and spending time with people is our greatest gift.
Sunday Lunch Club:
You may have noticed after mass on a Sunday we run a lunch group from 12-1pm in the parish hall. We, along with other kind volunteers prepare and provide lunches to the homeless, the poor or anyone who is struggling to get a daily meal. For some this is a chance to get to have a cup of tea and a chat with someone and for others this is for much needed food.
We have a few other exciting projects coming up and will keep you updated on the developments.
- If you would like to become a full member of SVP please contact us and we can give you more information.
- If you would just like to help out with the lunch club’s on Sunday but not become a full member of SVP please contact us.
- If you know of anyone within Portsmouth Island that may be lonely or isolated and need our help please inform us.
- If you would like to donate to our society please contact us and we will advise.
We prefer to have email contact where possible – PresidentB170211@svp.org.uk
If unable to email, please feel free to call the SVP mobile – 07305505805
Message from the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth
LUNCH@12 is our ministry towards the homeless in Portsmouth, which is led by our SVP members. We have received A special CERTIFICATE of RECOGNITION CORONOVIRUS AWARD from Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. Here are the words, which were send together with this Certificate:
Dear Lunch@12 – The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have had far-reaching consequences at a global, national, and local level. It’s been a year like no other and I genuinely thank the people and communities in Portsmouth for following the rules, for stepping up to help family, friends and neighbours, for volunteering to help get medicines and food to those shielding or self-isolating, and for continuing to go to work through the lockdowns. Every one of us has had to make sacrifices whether it be supporting vulnerable members of the community or keeping others safe by adhering to restrictions on our own lives.
There are those in our community however, who have given support that in the view of their friends or colleagues has gone above and beyond the normal and I am delighted to tell you that Lunch@12 has been nominated by Mark Sage as such a community organisation.
I would be delighted if you would accept the enclosed Certificate of Recognition and my thanks on behalf of the people of Portsmouth for your outstanding service.
Your sincerely – Councillor Rob Wood