Our Patrons

The SVP (England & Wales) has three Patrons; The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Anne Widdecombe and John Battle. The work of our Patrons and their endorsement of the Society is invaluable. 

His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

“……..without the tireless work of the SVP, alongside our partners in other churches and religions, the poverty crisis would undoubtedly be far deeper and more widespread”

His Eminence Cardinal VINCENT NICHOLS is the 11th Archbishop of Westminster. Born in Crosby, Liverpool in 1945, he studied for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome, gaining licences in philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University. He ordained as a Priest in Rome in 1969 for the Archdiocese of Liverpool. He is patron of a number of other Catholic charities including The Passage, a day centre for homeless people in London and the Cardinal Hume Cen-tre, an advisory and learning centre for homeless people and young families.


Ann Widdecombe

“I am delighted to be a patron for the SVP, I have long supported its work and am really excited to become more involved with its members”.

ANN WIDDECOMBE was a Minister in three Departments and the Shadow Cabinet in the 1990’s and has been associated with the SVP over the last few years. Among her several notable achievements, Ann has campaigned actively for prison education. Her recently published autobiography “Strictly Ann” reveals someone who lives life to the full . Ann recently visited the SVP Furniture Store in Sheffield and was moved by how the Society is changing lives through practical assistance.


John Battle

“The SVP is a vibrant example of the Church rolling up its sleeves and getting involved in community, through visiting the elderly, assisting the vulnerable and battling loneliness. I am proud to be a member of the SVP and to support its work”

JOHN BATTLE lives in Leeds and was a student of the Priesthood before going to Leeds University. He was the First Director of Church Action on Poverty and presently chairs the Leeds Justice and Peace Commission. Stepping down from Parliament in 2010, he now works on local community projects and is on the Board of the St Vincent’s Support Centre in Leeds.