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The Parish The Sacred Heart and St. Margaret Mary. East Dereham, Norfolk

Annual Report of the Conference for 2011-12



The Sacred Heart Conference was founded in 1990 and has been active ever since, undertaking a range of work in the parish to assist anyone in need, which today mainly involves befriending and visiting the elderly and sick and housebound in their own homes or in residential or nursing homes, although practical help to meet needs is provided where possible.


We currently have 10 members: 7 full members who attend fortnightly meetings and undertake visits to those in need, and 3 auxiliary members, who do not attend the meetings but continue to undertake visits and otherwise support the work of the Conference during the year. Three members of the Conference, plus two other parishioners, are also members of the visiting team to Wayland Prison. The prison visiting team is co-ordinated by SVP members Francis & Bernadette Buxton.

Work carried out during the year

A total of 80 visits to 7 persons living in residential/nursing homes

A total of 175 visits to 27 persons in their own homes

A total of 9 visits to persons in hospital

A total of 178 lifts provided to parishioners to enable them to attend Sunday Masses, or for shopping trips/outings, or to attend medical or other appointments

43 attendances by three Conference members as part of the weekly team visits to HMP Wayland Chapel for Mass, followed by tea & chat, and also for other CAFE courses / drop-in sessions

Provision of Services of the Word at St Nicholas House by one Conference member and his wife.

Practical & financial support provided to a family within the Parish area.

One sing-song at a residential home. Unfortunately, these sing-songs have had to cease as the member who provided them (with his banjo!) is no longer able to do so.

Highlights of the Year

Quarterly Masses for the Sick, followed by tea & chat, kindly assisted by members of the UCM

Annual SVP National Pilgrimage of the Sick to Walsingham in July

Coffee Morning & raffle in September

Two afternoon retreats for Conference members as part of the SVP's aim to support the spiritual needs of its members.

We are twinned with Conferences in Grenada and India and a recent letter from one of our twinned Indian Conferences shows just how valuable this is, as with the support they receive they have been able to provide food and clothing to 54 persons in need, as well as helping some students meet their educational needs.


Income & Expenditure for the year ending 31 March 2012 was as follows:

Income - £2508.66 (gross) - which includes £177 Maundy Thursday & SVP collection box receipts, SVP Gift Aid receipts and other donations (including bequests of £340 in memory of the late Bill Sibley and £500 from Peggy Malone, and family support aid of £200 from Central Council & £250 from SVP Special Funds).

  • Expenditure - £1490.80 (which includes £234 Tithes, £225 Twinnage payments (India & Grenada), £700 family support, and £331.80 Members' expenses)

The Year Ahead

In addition to our regular work of visiting and the quarterly Masses for the Sick, starting in May, the Conference is aiming to hold a monthly coffee morning on the first Friday of each month.


As ever, our grateful thanks go to Fr John for his continued support of the work of the Conference in the Parish and to the members of the UCM for their generous and kind assistance with the quarterly Masses for the Sick.

The work of the Conference is only possible through the dedication of its members and the generous support we receive from the parish. However, our members (like everyone!) are getting older and the future of the Conference will depend on new members coming forward to carry on the good work. So we would ask you to pray for the Conference and we would welcome anyone who would be interested in joining us and/or the Wayland Prison Visiting Team, who are also in need of new members.

If you, or anyone you know, would appreciate a visit or are in need of help of any sort, please let us know. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.

Article written by Elaine Wilkes


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