"The SVP gives powerful practical expression to Pope Francis' desire for the Church to be a Church for the poor."
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
Start an SVP group in your parish
Is there an SVP group in your parish? If there isn't, maybe you could discuss starting one with your Parish Priest. We'll be happy to work with you to set everything up, attract members and guide and train them.
But is a group needed?
Perhaps if you live in a prosperous area you might feel there isn't work for the Society to do locally. However, even in well-to-do places, there can be hidden poverty, unseen behind closed doors. There may also be lonely and isolated people who can go for weeks without talking to another living soul. And if there are any hospitals or care homes locally, there will be numerous people who currently have no visitors.
In other words, there are many who need you and your fellow parishioners locally.
What about other parish groups?
The SVP is very different from other groups that may exist in the parish. Firstly, we don't only help parishioners; we will help anyone in need in the area, irrespective of their faith. Also, as well as visiting people, we provide material assistance where needed. And we have a national infrastructure to support our members, including training, expert guidance, a series of special funds and insurance.
An SVP group can also help alleviate some of the pressure on the Parish Priest by visiting sick or elderly parishioners, for example, or by organising parties or outings for older people. And when the Priest gets a knock on his door from someone seeking assistance, he can refer them to the SVP.
Find out more
If you are interested in starting an SVP group in your parish, there are a number of ways you can find out more about how we can help you: