Sacred Heart Church North Gosforth

St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVP)


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in Paris in 1833 by a group of Catholic students who, led by Frederic Ozanam, aimed to put their faith into action through direct contact and assistance to the poor. Inspired by the work and teachings of St. Vincent de Paul, a priest who abandoned the profit of an ecclesiastical career at the Royal Court in favour of working with the marginalised and forgotten poor of France in the 1600s, the group placed itself under his patronage.

A few years after its foundation the organisation had grown in numbers and soon spread to other countries. By 1844 the first Conference of Charity had been formed in England and Wales.

The Sacred Heart SVP Conference was founded in 1931 and has been active ever since undertaking a range of work in the Parish.


We currently have eight full members in the Sacred Heart SVP Conference (comprising four men and four women). Members attend the weekly prayer meetings and undertake visits to those in need. We meet on Tuesday evenings at 8pm in the hall or in the church if the hall is being used.

Most of our members are Eucharistic Ministers which adds a further dimension to our service to the sick and housebound. All of our members have enhanced clearance from the Catholic, SVP and Government Safeguarding and DBS systems.

Turning Concern Into Action

Here in the parish our group carry out visits to people in their own homes in residential homes and in hospital. For decades, the essence of our work has been that person-to-person contact and spending time with people is our greatest gift. We support the Advent and Lenten Masses for the Sick. We also provide practical and emotional to support to those in need as well as transport and financial assistance.

We support the annual walk for local martyr Blessed John Ingram, now ecumenical, involving two Anglican Churches with their clergy en route from Newcastle to Gateshead. Members also attend the annual Diocesan Joint Christian and Muslim Prayers for Peace at St Mary’s Chapel in Jesmond. This is a joyous occasion when we gather to share faith and friendship and prayer together for peace in our world.

Do you know someone in need?

The number of people actually requesting visits or other help is in steady decline but there must still be other people who would appreciate this sort of Christian friendship of which neither the Parish Priest or us are being informed. If you are or know of a person in need please let Fr Michael or a member know.

Anyone wishing to know more about the Society and what membership involves is invited to fill in the contact form at the SVP General Office: 0207 703 3030