Society of Vincent de Paul

The St Vincent de Paul Society (known as the SVP) is part of an international Christian voluntary network dedicated to tackling poverty in all its forms by providing practical assistance to people in need, whatever their circumstances. We encounter people from all walks of life and help without judgement.

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St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) is known for his sacrificial service to the poorest of the poor. Born into an impoverished French peasant family himself, Vincent was passionate about providing both relief and hope for the suffering.

Inspired by the example of St Vincent de Paul SVP was founded by Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853) Frédéric served the poor of Paris, and drew others into serving the poor of the world. He was a French literary scholar, lawyer, journalist and equal rights advocate. He and a friend began visiting Paris tenements and offering assistance as best they could. Soon a group dedicated to helping individuals in need under the patronage of Saint Vincent de Paul formed around Frédéric.

Continuing the work of our founders, SVP Chelmsford provides help and support in many ways across our community.

  • Phone befriending
  • Visiting the elderly
  • Shopping for those unable to do so themselves
  • Supporting families with clothing and footwear to adults, children and babies as well as toys, books, and bedding
  • Supplying The Women’s Refuge with weekly donations of food, mainly fresh fruit and vegetables. Clothing and bedding are collected when requested.
  • Christmas gifts are delivered for mothers and children
  • HMP Chelmsford; we have continued to support those in the prison by supplying Reading Glasses and collecting and delivering a range of clothing and footwear. Visiting the prison has recommenced. We have supported ex-prisoners with clothing, footwear, back packs and books
  • Angel Tree Project; support by collecting gifts for the children of Prisoners at Christmas
  • Working with the Catholic Clothing Guild, we have supported some families with the purchase of school uniforms, for the start of the academic year
  • Working with the Ideas Hub Chelmsford, the SVP has been able to distribute £2400 from Essex County Council to beneficiaries in Chelmsford and out-lying areas. With the funds we were able to deliver Tesco and Aldi supermarket vouchers to families and individuals
  • Supermarket Surplus Food Collections have been delivered to families at Christmas and New Year’s Eve
  • We support families and individuals that need the help of the foodbank; collecting and making deliveries when necessary
  • SVP has delivered furniture and curtains to those moving into unfurnished properties; putting up curtain rails in some cases.
  • We have helped individuals and families by supplying goods such as washing machines, fridge/freezers, and cookers
  • We have made pharmacy collections and Post Office errands; signposting individuals to Citizens Advice Bureau or accompanying them to appointments at the Job Centre and the hospital.
  • With the support of OLI Primary School, children’s reading books were collected for transport to a school in Ukraine
  • SVP run a monthly Coffee Morning after 9.00am Mass, in OLI Hall
  • All our activities are only possible through donations and a variety of fundraising activities

Our Vision, which 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.

You can get involved with our work by becoming a member of the SVP. We meet fortnightly and our work covers Chelmsford and some outlying areas.

Right now, more than ever, we need active volunteers. Whatever your skills and experience or however much time you can give, we would value your contribution

If you are not a member, you can still help us with goods, supporting appeals on our Facebook page and the Parish newsletter, or with financial support.

We rely on the generosity of people like you to help those in need.

For more information contact:

To send a text or call anytime contact us at: 07876 551150