by KATHLEEN CASEY
St Vincent de Paul in Christchurch is working from spacious new premises with street frontage, after four years of
working in a small out-the-back area.
One hundred and fifty attended the blessing and opening of the premises in Stanmore Rd recently.
SVdP President Keith Norton welcomed Bishop Barry Jones and all present, including representatives of other social service agencies.
“What we have today is a credit to all the people who have built up St Vincent de Paul in previous years,” he said. He noted that after the destructive February 2011 quake, the society lent its truck to Search and Rescue for eight days.
National president Des Mulhern congratulated Christchurch office holders and workers for carrying on since then in hugely difficult situations and surrounded by great need.
“It is the face of St Vincent de Paul 182 years ago in Paris,” he said. “We do what we do — we also have a lot of non-Catholics [helping]. There are 50,000 conferences around the world in 50 countries, with 8000 members. That is
what you are all part of.”
In 2017, New Zealand will mark 150 years of SVdP work, which was launched in Christchurch. Today, in the aftermath
of earthquakes, the requests for help have risen hugely.