President: Jean Perkins
The SVP is an international organisation of lay people founded in 1833 in Paris by Blessed Fredric Ozanam. On a national basis the SVP is also involved in housing homeless, care of offenders and their dependants, holidays for families in need, clubs for the deaf and furniture stores/thrift shops for emergency cases.
The branch in our parish consists of men and women members who participate in person to person help to both individuals and families. We visit the lonely, elderly or sick in their homes, in hospital or in sheltered accommodation. We also provide funds for Fr. John to help with the itinerant poor who sometimes make their way to his door.
Saffron Walden's parish conference is twinned with an SVP conference in Kerala in India where we send direct funding every quarter. Elapphy is a village in the hills of the Iddukki district. In 2006 our Conference in Saffron Walden undertook a project to fund the construction of 12 latrines for 12 families (43 individuals) who did not already this facility in their home. The project has now been completed and the facilities which have been provided are now being enjoyed by these families and helping to also improve their quality of life.
During 2009 we have also been able to help fund a baby feeding centre in the Sudan due primarily to the wonderful generosity of parishioners when our annual collection was taken up in November of last year.
Our parish, through our conference, also regularly supports the work of Jimmy’s Shelter for the homeless of Cambridge. Donations of clothing, blankets and household items are regularly taken by members to the centre for distribution by this charity.
The Saffron Walden parish conference is funded through our annual parish collection in November, any legacies, if we are lucky, and from members' contributions - thank you for your continuing generosity.
We hold our Meetings in the parish hall at 20:00 on alternate Monday evenings and here, in Saffron Walden, we are fortunate in that we are able to maintain an active branch. In some areas, including our own Deanery, the SVP has been forced to close local branches as a result of an ageing membership. At the moment, there are eight of us, mostly over the age of 60 and we would therefore welcome the addition of younger members.
If any parishioner would like to join us and help us in this most satisfying, but not too time-consuming work, please come along and join us at our meetings - the date of which is usually to be found in the Parish Newsletter or alternately contact Jean Perkins or Mike Altree (Treasurer) for further information about the Saffron Walden Conference.
SVP annual collection: