Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal's photos
Mass and Rite of Reception for Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Archbishop joins celebration of the Sisters of Mercy

The Archbishop of Westminster was at Providence Row on Tuesday 10 December to join a Celebration of the work and huge contribution of the Sisters of Mercy to the charity. The Sisters founded Providence Row in 1860 with Father Daniel Gilbert and continued to run it until 1988.  

Archbishop Vincent led the thanksgiving service for the work of the Sisters and Providence Row and reflected on the charity’s approach to seeing those who use the centre as people with problems, not problem people. “When we fail to see people as people and see them as statistics then we will fail to support them”. He also looked back on the history of openness: “From the word go this was a charity which was open to everybody, a characteristic of a good charity.”

Providence Row’s CEO, Pam Orchard, reflected on the Sisters’ contribution to the charity over the years: “I am so grateful to the Sisters of Mercy for their incredible commitment to helping the homeless for over 150 years. Their tireless dedication to the cause has been outstanding and they continue to contribute to Providence Row’s work through financial and voluntary support today.”

Over 40 Sisters of Mercy in the UK attended including some coming from Glasgow. One who worked at Providence Row over thirty years ago found it impressive “to see how the work has developed since Crispin Street”.  

There was also a blessing of client memorials, whilst the Archbishop planted a tree in memory of Sister Winefride Biddle who served at the charity for over 30 years.

Providence Row tackles the root causes of homelessness to help people get off, and stay off, the streets. Working with people to build skills and confidence is the key to success and Providence Row does this through its trainee schemes, language classes and employment support. It provides for mental health and addiction issues, which is crucial in helping people to rejoin the community. Providence Row also helps people to return to their home communities, in the UK and abroad. Providence Row worked with about 1,000 people over the last year and expects to work with 1,200 people over the next 12 months.

Latest news
  • John Studzinski CBE, Sir James McMillan and Cardinal Vincent Nichols at the premiere of the Sr James' Stabat Mater in the Sistine Chapel (Photo: Adrian Myers/Genesis Foundation)Contemplating the Holy Spirit in music

    Ahead of the world premiere of his Symphony No.5: ‘Le grand Inconnu’ (The Great Unknown), Sir James McMillan and Cardinal Vincent contemplate the mystery of the Holy Spirit and the exploration of representations of the Holy Spirit in music. ...

    more
  • Cardinal prays for persecuted Christians

    Presiding at the International Mass in Lourdes on 24 homily.   He invited the congregation, consisting of pilgrims from all over the world, ‘to pray especially for Christians who are persecuted for their faith, in so many parts of the world’...

    more
  • Cardinal presents Benedict Medal to Sr Berchmans

    At the St Mary's University graduation ceremony at Westminster Cathedral on 17 Born in County Clare, Ireland in 1930, Sr Berchmans joined the Convent of Jesus and Mary in 1951 in Willesden. She spent over 65 years teaching, mostly in Pakistan, ...

    more