The Saint Peter's Conference of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society was founded in 1949. The original meeting place was an outhouse behind the Presbytery at 9 South Crescent. The Society is still going strong and is the longest serving organisation within the parish. It aims are to help the poor locally - whether parishioners or not - and elsewhere. It relies on donations to distribute to the less fortunate. Members of the Society also act as passkeepers at Church services.

Meetings are held on Monday evenings in the Parish Centre.

The Conference celebrated sixty years of working in the Parish on 29 March 2009. Bishop John Cunningham celebrated 10.00 am and 12.00 noon Masses assisted by Canon Matt, Father Stephen McGrattan and Father Stephen Motroni. The Conference sponsored an Art Competition for pupils of Saint Peter's Primary School and Bishop Cunningham presented the prizes. After the 12.00 noon Mass, the congregation gathered in the Parish Centre for refreshments. The photograph on the right was taken at the celebration. There are more photos of the happy event the Pictures page.

The following report on Saint Peter's Conference was issued in March 2009.

We would like to thank the parishioners for their generous support. This year, for the first time, our accounts will not be audited until April - therefore the following is an approximate. You, as a parish, have given us over £12000 and a legacy, donations, our coffee morning and collections from the members of the conference amounted to £3000. This enabled us to help many people both abroad and at home, roughly half the total each.

Abroad we have four twin conferences - three In India and one in Africa - to whom we send regular support. In addition we support a student sponsorship scheme, £105 gives three years training to a nurse or engineer (£3500). We also support special SSVP projects - disaster appeals, drug rehab centres, help for the homeless etc. (£2,000).

At home, in Ardrossan, we help people in need with food, heating, clothes etc., visit the housebound, if asked, and the residents in Abbotsford, South Beach and Currie Court. We provide food and assistance to the local Short Stay Hostel and Women's Refuge. We help local children via the primary schools and James McFarlane School. Over 500 visits were made this year. In addition, we run a small furniture project and have been able to furnish twenty five homes this year. The total spent on all this locally was £7500.

We contribute to SSVP both at Diocesan and National level to help with costs and to fund larger projects. (£1,500)

On 29th March 2009, we will be celebrating sixty years since the Society was established in Saint Peter in Chains. To celebrate this, there will be an Art Competition for the pupils of Saint Peter's Primary School to be exhibited in the Parish Centre and, as a thank you to all parishioners, we will he serving tea and coffee after 10.00 Mass and a light lunch after 12.00 noon Mass to which all will be welcome, especially all past members of the Society. Bishop John Cunningham has kindly agreed to celebrate both Masses on that day and we will offer these for all of you who have helped us over many years and for all deceased members. We do hope you will join us at our celebration and thanksgiving to you, the parishioners.

Again we give thanks to all of you and will keep you constantly in our prayers. See you on Sunday, 29 March.

God Bless you all.

SSVP - Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

The following report on Saint Peter's Conference was issued in July 2005.

During 2004, the Society in Ardrossan continued to assist people in need within the local community as well as sending assistance to our twin conferences in India and South Africa. In addition in conjunction with
the Staff and pupils of St. Andrew's Academy, Saltcoats, support payments to sponsor a number of Technical and Vocational Students in India were also made. A special donation was also sent to the Society's Appeal for the Darfur crisis in the Sudan.

Locally, as well as direct assistance, help was given with furniture, food and fuel cards and visits were made to sick and housebound people in most local residential and nursing homes During the year, income was derived from Box Collections, Marathon Sponsorship, a Coffee Morning and Donations and totalled nearly £9000.

A considerable variety of assistance was given locally and amounted to £5000. Overseas support and assistance mentioned above was £2100 while two other conferences in the Diocese were helped to enable them to meet requests for assistance from their own communities.

In addition, money was made available to a number of local schools to meet emergency contingencies arising for pupils, a local specialist elderly centre was assisted with a contribution towards outings and a donation was made to assist with the cost of food for a Christmas meal provided by the Salvation Army for homeless and other people in the local Community. At the close of the year almost all the income had been distributed as described above and the balance carried forward was less than £100. Very little of this work could have been carried out without the continued and generous assistance of all those who helped the Conference with donations, prayers and other support. Those who assisted, share in the work of the Society and in Christ's name, bring help to those in need. On behalf of those we were able to assist, the Conference members thank you most sincerely and ask for your continued prayers and support in the future.



























Vincent de Paul was born to a peasant family in France in 1580. He was ordained a priest in 1600. He established a charity for the assistance of the poor. Vincent died in 1660 and was made a saint in 1737. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul was founded in Paris in 1833 by a group of Catholic students who, led by Frederic Ozanam (1813-53), aimed to put their faith into action through direct contact and assistance to the poor. Inspired by the work and teachings of Saint Vincent de Paul, the group placed itself under his patronage.

Return to report.