St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) – Turning Concern into Action

St. Vincent de Paul Society

Turning Concern into Action

Our Spiritual Values and Ethos.


To bring the love of Christ to the poor and suffering across England and Wales.


To seek and find those in need and serve them through person to person contact, irrespective of age, colour, creed, gender or ideology.


We are non-judgemental.

We respect the dignity and wishes of the individual at all time.

We are generous with our time, our possessions and ourselves.

The founders of the Vincentian family, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, Blessed Frederick Ozanam and Blessed Rosalie Rendu encountered Christ in the poor of their time. The God revealed in that encounter was a God of compassionate love. Through their relationships with people who were oppressed because of poverty, Frederick, Louise and Vincent were themselves transformed.

That Transformation led them:

to look at society from the perspective of people who are excluded.

to become more compassionate and caring and

to a deep commitment to the elimination of poverty and suffering.

This highlights the specifically Vincentian way of approaching Justice issues. It emerges from the ‘bottom up’ not from the ‘top down’, being based on active involvement with the poor. In opening our hearts to people who are poor, it is our hope that we will be similarly transformed on a personal level, and inspired to work for the transformation of society in their interests.

The SVP supports justice and peace by encouraging communities and individuals to improve their quality of life, but works to address the causes of need. It gathers and uses information about the effect of legislation on grass roots poverty, examines relevant draft legislation and responds to government issues that adversely affect the poor, mainly by co-operating with other Christians and voluntary groups in the UK AND WITHIN Europe. However, in dealing with such matters it avoids party politics.

Membership is open to men and women, young and old, of any denomination. The SVP only asks that members accept fully the Christian ethos of the Society, and are committed to express their love of God through personal service to their neighbour. The SVP respects religious liberty and values all people.