In January 2015 our SVP and Primary School launched a Young Vincentians group- better known as Mini Vinnies.
Mini Vinnies groups have been started in parishes across the country in recent years. However ours is the very first Mini Vinnies group in the Southwark Diocese.
The children in Year 5 were selected to form the first Mini Vinnies. Year 5s will become new Mini Vinnies every year.
Like the adult SVP all meetings begin and end with prayers. There is also a reflective reading and discussion.
At their first meeting the children elect a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. At subsequent meetings they learn more about our founder, Blessed Fredrick Ozanam and his companions and about our Patron, St Vincent de Paul and their dedication to Jesus’ call to serve those in need.
Each Mini Vinnie receives a Mini Vinnies Badge and a pack containing their MV Handbook, a Prayer Card and a Pledge Card. They also learn their special Mini Vinnies song.Their Certificates are presented in church during a special Commissioning Mass. Our inaugural Mass took place on Tuesday 24th March and was well attended by parents, parishioners, SVP members and guests from SVP National Office.
Holy Cross Catford: First Mini Vinnies Commissioning Mass: 24th March 2015
In reflecting their Mission to “See – Think –Do” – they agreed their first tasks: To act as Playground Stewards to befriend and support younger pupils; to prepare Easter and Christmas Hampers for distribution to SVP clients; to assist with Parish fundraising activities at weekend Masses. These are long term ongoing activities.
Our newest Mini Vinnies came on board in September 2015. They have enthuistasically embraced the MV Mission. In December 2015 they organised the collection and sorting of food items and with the adult SVP made up 15 Christmas food hampers for distribution to families and elderly clients in the community.
Mini Vinnies sorting items for Christmas Hampers 2015. They continue the work begun by the older MVs on the Knit a Blanket Project.
Mini Vinnies in the Jubilee Year of Mercy
Our Year 5&6 Mini Vinnies are actively engaging in the Mercy Tokens Initiative administered by the SVP Central Council at National Office. Children can earn Tokens through simple Acts of Mercy, including:
Doing a service out of kindness; Giving a compliment, a hug or a smile; Saying sorry to someone they’ve hurt or upset; Being helpful without being asked; Listening to someone who is sad; Sharing own lunch with another person; Playing with someone who looked lonely; Giving someone a gift; Saying a prayer for someone who is ill or in hospital; Taking part in a fundraising event.
These acts reflect much of the ethos and values of our school and the Mini Vinnies Mission: See-Think-Do.
Through their Playground Stewardship Mission the Mini Vinnies listen to or play with children who are sad or lonely and encourage friendships. They also help with SVP fundraising coffee mornings and manage the collection and sorting of items for the SVP Hampers. Their ongoing work on the Blanket Project further demonstrates their commitment to serving others and giving the gift of their time and talents to make blankets to help keep others warm and comfortable.