Historically, the need for a Particular Council manifested itself as soon as the Society began to grow out of its 'only one' Conference composition in 1835 and started to become a multi-celled organization.
A Particular Council is usually composed of 4 to 12 conferences in the same vicinity, for example, a town, a rural region, a diocese or, in the case of a large metropolitan area, a neighborhood or district. It is the first level of councils within the Society.
However, its size may vary depending on local practices and geography. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul of Vancouver Island Board of Directors has an advisor Council called the Victoria Particular Council which follows
the geographic boundaries of the Catholic Diocese of Victoria (all of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands).
The Particular Council:
- Animates and coordinates the activities of conferences in their ministry
- Serves the conferences by furthering charitable activities
- Makes sure that the conferences do not do anything to jeopardize the Society.
The Particular Council keeps conferences informed about:
- Changing social conditions
- New issues and programs
- Modification of, or additions to internal policies and procedures as well as changes in the Operations Manual
- Major events.
Currently on Vancouver Island the northern conferences, Campbell River, Courtenay, Port Alberni and Nanaimo are starting the process of forming their own North Island Particular Council. The process will take up to two years to complete.