David Hunter awarded Archdiocesan medal

Congratulations to David Hunter who received a special honour at Ss John & Columba in Rosyth at the weekend.

He was presented with the Archdiocesan Medal (St Andrews & Edinburgh) from Archbishop Cushley on Saturday morning for his outstanding service to the Society of St Vincent de Paul's Fife Furniture Project.

Archbishop Cushley presents the Archdiocesan Medal to David Hunter during Mass at Ss John & Columba in Rosyth.

Archbishop Cushley said: "Congratulations to David. We thank him and all who volunteer for the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) and charities in the Archdiocese who help the those in need."

David leads the Fife Furniture Project with Moira McCrae, who will receive the Archdiocesan Medal shortly.

They were both nominated for the award by Canon Brian Gowans, the Vicar Episcopal for Caritas, Justice & Peace, and Archdiocesan Spiritual Director for the SSVP.

He said: "David and Moira have helped so many families and I have called upon them to help families in need pver the years.

"David genuinely loves his work and seeing how people can move on with their lives after receiving furniture or white goods.

"I am delighted that my nominations were accepted as David and Moira richly deserved the Archdiocesan Medal."

Fr Andrew Kingham, parish priest, said: "David is a humble and modest man who devotes so much of his time to the Church. Today we recognise his work for the SSVP of which he has been a stalwart for so many years.

Haydn Carr, President of the SSVP for the Archdiocese, said: "This is a richly deserved award for such a humble and hard-working man. David epitomises everything that is good about the SSVP."

The Fife Furniture Project supports people who have been homeless or are in need. Volunteers collect and deliver furniture and white goods to those in need across Fife at no cost.

The Archdiocesan Medal for Outstanding Service to the Church was established in 1975 by Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh. Only 100 or so medals have been awarded for “outstanding voluntary service” to the Church at a local level.

World Day of the Poor

In Pope Francis' message for the annual World Day of the Poor, he calls every Christian to become “personally involved” in the struggle against poverty. Read the message.

In our Archdiocese, parishes are encourage to have a special Collection for the World Day for the Poor, which is optional, and will take place in parishes on Sunday 19 November.

Monies received will go to the Fife Furniture Project, which is run by volunteers the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

It has helped hundreds of people across the Archdiocese, many in desperate situations, by providing basic furniture and white goods for tenants.

SSVP man Richard honoured by Pope Francis

Congratulations to Richard Steinbach who has been honoured with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal.

The award is given to those who have shown distinguished service to the Church and the papacy and is the highest medal that the Pope can award to a layperson.

Elaine and Richard at St Michael's in Linlithgow, where Archbishop Cushley presented the award at the annual Archdiocesan SSVP Mass on Saturday.
Richard, a parishioner at Ss John and Columba in Rosyth was recognised for his dedication to the Church and the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) which he joined in 1998, later becoming diocesan president and national vice president.

His work within the SSVP has been devoted to the good causes of assisting the vulnerable and needy, visiting sick and housebound, providing transport to Mass for limited mobility parishioners.

His care and compassion for others was expressed in many ways, including his active support for the SSVP Fife Furniture Project, and the Missionaries of Charity Project.

Richard and Elaine with their family, along with Archbishop Cushley, Canon Paul Kelly (right) and Deacon Douglas Robertson.

In the days leading up to Christmas, Richard would be delivering bags of groceries and gifts to those in need. He enthusiastically encouraged SSVP Youth activities, visiting schools and arranging visits for the SSVP Youth Development Co-ordinator.

No tribute to Richard would be complete without mentioning his wife, Elaine. Many SSVP members rely on the active support of their spouses and Elaine, herself an SSVP member, has always been available to assist him.

Over the years, Richard has quietly encouraged others to participate more fully in the life of the parish.  On the social side, he is an active supporter and worker for the family fun days and social events organised for the benefit of his parish.

He has fulfilled the role of Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist for many years, choir member and is currently one of the Lectors of the parish.

Richard has exercised his pastoral roles throughout these years with such modesty that the extent of his commitment and involvement within the parish would not be known by many parishioners.

Annual Society of St Vincent de Paul Mass

The annual Mass for members of the Society of St Vincent de Paul in our Archdiocese is at 11am at St Michael's Church 53 Blackness Road, Linlithgow, EH49 7JA. The celebrant will be Archbishop Cushley.

SSVP President joins calls for improved help for poor

The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Scotland (SSVP) has added its voice to calls for an "adequate social security system" to help combat the cost of living.

Vincentian charities across the UK issued a statement following the Autumn Budget announcement from the UK Government.

Danny Collins, National President of SSVP Scotland, said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Vincentian brothers and sisters in challenging the social injustices imposed on those we serve.

"The Vincentian statement is a true reflection on how we must always challenge those responsible for implementing policies which further impoverish those most in need.”

The statement calls for:

The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) alone has supported over 55,000 people in the past year (England and Wales), and it reports worrying trends such as people on higher income accessing our foodbanks, and a 66% increase in the number of requests for help from 2020.

Elizabeth Palmer, CEO of the SVP in England and Wales, said: “The number of people seeking our help across the country is increasing every day.

The profile of the people seeking our help is also changing and is beginning to include those who were previously managing to cope without our help.”

Mark Choonara, CEO of Daughters of Charity Services, says: “We are in a recession. As we seek to restore our economic growth, we must ensure that equality and fairness are rooted at the heart of our efforts, revitalising our society along with our economy.”

The statement, Signed by groups including Company of Mission Priests and Congregation of the Mission, adds: "Catholic social teaching upholds the right for everyone to have dignity.

"We as Vincentian charities call on the government to provide adequate social protection that takes into consideration the basic necessities of life."

SSVP: daily support for those in need

The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) works  all year around to support those in need in communities across Scotland.

Around 2000 SSVP volunteer members provide this assistance on a daily basis. Working in 300 groups, they assist people in need in the best way

SSVP member Richard Steinbach said: "It is important that our outreach and support for those in need is always available.

"With some shops and foodanks closed on Monday (19 Sep), if you're struggling to get by, or have a family to feed, please don't hesitate to get in touch with your local SSVP conference."

Alternatively, contact Richard on 07719 898 502 for assistance. To become a member of the SSVP contact your local parish. More at ssvpscotland.com

Society of St Vincent de Paul chief to visit Scotland

The President General of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) will visit the Archdiocese during a special trip to Scotland next week.

Renato Lima de Oliveira makes his first official visit to the country from 21-24 June with a tour taking in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Motherwell.

The President General will get to know the work of the charity, which has conferences in parishes across the Archdiocese and Scotland, during four days of activities.

In our Archdiocese it includes

The programme for the visit includes liturgical celebrations, meetings with the Vincentian family and visits to see the special works of the SSVP across central Scotland.

After each Mass, President Renato will address Vincentians and the Catholic community.

Schedule of livestreamed events

All broadcasts: Sancta Familia.









Fife Furniture Project: helping those in need

In the lead up to World Day of the Poor on Sunday 14 November, we're highlighting the work of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) in our Archdiocese. Volunteers David Hunter and Moira McCrae (above pic, right) from the SSVP Furniture Project in Fife explain how it works.


"We took over responsibility for the running and management of the Furniture Project from John Barrett in 2012. The Project has grown exponentially since this time; however, it continues to be sustained by the kindness and generosity of parishioners, community volunteers, family and friends. This ethos remains central to its success."

Helping all

"The Furniture Project operates on a non-denominational basis (we help everyone, not just Catholics) and works in collaboration with other charitable and community organisations.

"Our furniture storage facilities are provided free of charge by a local business owner. The Project has also provided opportunities for young people to undertake volunteering as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme."

Delivering the goods

"We have two vans which are used to uplift and the deliver donated furniture and other household goods. In-demand tems include beds, settees and white goods and we have also fully furnished homes.

"We have also been involved in supplying more uncommon items such as a mobility scooter, which helped a man's independence and integration into his community."

Supporting refugees

"We also provided sewing machines which are sought after and used by the refugee community. We have recently supported RE: ACT, a charity supporting refugees with resettlement and integration in Scotland. We work closely with S.H.I.E.L.D. which supports vulnerable people and families with food and financial issues."

An all-round approach

"The remit of the Project has expanded beyond supplying furniture. For example, we established links with local food banks when food poverty is identified, clothes banks where shortage of clothing is identified and where fuel poverty is identified clients are signposted/referred to an energy/debt advice service called Cosy Kingdom. This helps alleviate some of the day-to-day stresses that many vulnerable people experience."


"During the pandemic we were successful in securing a government grant for £6,000 from the Cora Project. These funds were used to purchase white goods, food and fuel vouchers, which were then distributed to members of the community.

"How do we find out about the people we help? Most referrals come from Social Work services as well as Housing Support Services, Criminal Justice Services and Mental Health Projects. Due to the close working relationship established with some of these agencies, a few of the recipients of our help have gone on to volunteer for the project!"

The Fife Furniture Project can be contacted on 07939 223680 or at moirammccrae@gmail.com The annual SSVP Archdiocesan Mass takes place at 11am in St Patrick's, Cowgate, Edinburgh, on Saturday 20 November.

Work of SSVP continues throughout pandemic

Members of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) have marked a year of working to serve those in need during the pandemic.

National President Danny Collins has called on members and those in parishes who support them, to continue their good work in the months ahead.

Speaking in the Ozanam News, the charity's magazine, he said: "Despite the serious challenges we have faced together during the past year, many acts of charity were delivered to those who we serve. This coming year will no doubt present us with even more challenges due to the circumstances created by the worldwide pandemic.

"However, I am confident that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Vincentian journey together towards holiness...we will learn from the past years' experience and continue to Serve in Hope."

The charity, which has conferences (groups) in parishes across the Archdiocese and Scotland, highlights work on social justice, with youth groups and more in the latest edition of the Ozanam News, the magazine named after its founder Frederic Ozanam.

Read the Easter 2021 edition of the Ozanam News here.

Society of St Vincent de Paul prepares for landmark year

The coming year will be a big one for the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) in Scotland - and is of special significance to our Archdiocese.

The foundation of the charity's first conference was at St Patrick’s in Edinburgh, way back on 25th May, 1845.

National President Danny Collins said: "As the time draws close to the end of 2019, we can reflect on the personal spiritual blessings that we received during this year and humbly recall the many acts of charity delivered to those in need that we gladly serve. The New Year is of particular significance in the historical journey of the SSVP as we celebrate our 175th anniversary.

"The coming year also marks the 50th anniversary of the National Council of Scotland, instituted in 1970."

The aim of the Society is to provide a means for members to practice Christianity by showing God’s love to their neighbours who are in need. Its work in our Archdiocese includes prison visits, providing caravan holidays  and helping people in financial difficulties on a person to person basis.

This Christmas, many SSVP conferences are providing food hampers and toys to individuals and families who are in need of a helping hand.

They include the Most Holy Trinity Parish, based at St John & St Columba's Church in Rosyth. Margaret Wilson (above) and fellow members have been busy collecting Christmas hampers, following kind donations from parishioners and the West Fife community.

In the far west of the Archdiocese, SSVP conferences will help distribute nearly 100 parcels collected at St Maurice's High School.

Writing in the latest edition of the Ozanam News, the society's magazine, Mr Collins added: "I wish to express my appreciation to all those involved with the SSVP in Scotland and hope that everyone has a Holy Joyful Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year 2020."

Nationally, next year will see events across the country to help celebrate the 175-years milestone, including:

Mon 25th May 2020: 175th Anniversary event St Patrick’s, Edinburgh.

Sat 13th June 2020: Annual Mass St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow.

Sat. 29th August 2020: Annual Meeting Corn Exchange, Edinburgh.

To read the latest edition of the Ozanam News click here.