The SVP was established in Paris in 1833 by Blessed Fredric Ozanam. It came to this country in 1844 and has over 1,000 adult conferences in England and Wales. The mission of the SVP inspired by Christ’s message to love your neighbour is for individuals and families who might be ‘in need’ to have hope, dignity, worth, well-being and peace of mind.
Young Vincentians can be involved with this mission, operating across 3 different apostolates in the diocese, developing their faith and putting this faith into action through service to the marginalised, vulnerable and disadvantaged in society. Hallam Diocese boasts a number of youth groups in our schools and parishes who carry out excellent work in their local community.
Mini Vinnies (7 – 11 years) are based in primary schools and meet regularly. They gather together to pray, think about ways to help others and organise activities to this effect. Baking cakes for local care homes, singing Christmas Carols to the elderly people, bringing an end to bullying in classrooms, making cards for people and helping teachers tidy up after classes are just some of the things Mini Vinnies get up to. This is usually the start of their Vincentian journey for life.
Youth SVP (11 – 14 years) is the next step following Mini Vinnies and members work in secondary school, meeting regularly. Members gather to pray, talk and reflect on those in need around them and think of ways to help. This usually happens in the parish setting, with young Vincentians working in groups or teams. Typical activities would include voluntary work in their school, parish or local community, whilst developing their faith and spirituality. Meetings are centred on prayer, planning and discussion which are equally as important as the activities undertaken.
B-Attitudes (14 – 18 years) is the next stage for young Vincentians. Named after the Beatitudes, this group’s focus is to better develop the sense of what it is like to live as a disciple despite the pressures surrounding them in life. ‘Learn’, ‘live’ and ‘love’ are the 3 key principles guiding B-Attituders. At this age empathy is evident and these oldest of the ‘young Vincentians’ can get involved in championing social justice as well as undertaking many charitable works and events. Having completed their young Vincentian through primary and secondary school, as young adults they can continue their SVP journey either with a parish conference or at university through the 1833 organisation.
We are blessed in the Diocese to have a number of Mini Vinnie groups established in our primary schools and in most of our secondary schools there are Youth SVP and B-Attitude groups. These could not run without the help and dedication of committed adult leaders, willing and able to give up their time, for which the SVP in the Hallam Diocese is very grateful.
If you would like to find out more about the Young Vincentian movement for any of the 3 apostolates please contact Lance Philpott, Membership Development Officer for the Hallam Diocese – firstname.lastname@example.org.