The Guild of Servants of the Sanctuary was founded in 1897 and is a Catholic society of altar servers in the Church of England supporting the objects of Forward in Faith. It seeks to deepen the spiritual life of its members and help them to become more worthy of their important office. The objects of the Guild are:
· To raise the spiritual tone of Altar Servers
· To promote a conscientious performance of the duties of Altar Servers.
· To encourage a more frequent attendance at the Holy Eucharist in addition to times of duty.
Membership is open to any lay person who is an altar server in the Church of England and 'accepts Catholic Faith and Practice'. Bishops, Priests and Deacons are welcomed as Associate Members and non-servers as Supporter Members.
The Guild is organised into local chapters, each overseen by a secretary, who is a member of the Guild, and a chaplain, who is a priest and thus a 'priest associate' of the Guild. Chapters meet regularly: a typical gathering takes the form of the 'Guild Office': this consists largely of Psalms and Canticles, culminating in the Magnificat and a short Bible reading. The Guild Office will often be followed by a short address and perhaps Benediction. When undertaking Guild activities, members dress in choir habit: typically a black cassock with a white surplice or cotta, but sometimes a white or coloured cassock-alb according to local usage. Members also wear a special 'Guild Medal' engraved with the Latin text, Introibo ad Altare Dei (I will go unto the altar of God, Psalm 43.4).
Guild website: http://guild-of-servers-of-sanctuary.weebly.com/
The Chapter of Ss Osmund and Swithun, Bournemouth
The Bournemouth Chapter is dedicated to the patron saints of the dioceses of Salisbury and Winchester. Together with the Chapter of the Holy Cross, Chard, forms Provincial Group 7 which covers Dorset, West Hampshire and East Somerset. The banner passed from St Francis Church, Charminster, with the Chapter Secretary, Councillor Alan Scott who also oversees Provincial Group 7.
Chapter Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GSSBournemouth
The 2019 programme includes:
Wednesday, 23rd January (Week of Prayer for Christian Unity): 7:30 p.m. Guild Office & Benediction at Our Lady Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church, Southbourne, Bournemouth; Officiants: Canon Barry Fry and Fr Kevin Hoiles.
Thursday, 21st February: 7:00 p.m. Joint Mass with CBS (Ward of the Stigmata) at St Francis Church, Charminster Road, Charminster, Bournemouth; Celebrant: Fr Robin Nash (Ward Superior, CBS).
Wednesday, 27th March: 7:00 p.m. Stations of the Cross, followed by the Chapter Annual General Meeting, at St Katharine's Church, Southbourne; Officiant and Chairman: Fr Inglis Mayo.
Wednesday of Easter Week, 24th April: 7:30 p.m. Guild Office at St Mary & All Saints' Church, Ellingham, Hampshire; Officiant: Canon Barry Fry.Saturday, 11th May: Joint Festival for the Catholic Societies at St Ambrose Church, Westbourne, Bournemouth. 11:00 a.m. High Mass (celebrant: Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield). This will be followed by Lunch in the Church Hall (£10 - which may be reserved before 8th May via email to Fr Adrian Pearce: [email protected]), 3:00 p.m. Solemn Benediction, followed by tea.
Wednesday, 22nd May: 7:30 p.m. Guild Office & Benediction at Sarum St Martin's Church, Salisbury, Wiltshire; Officiants: Canon Barry Fry and Fr David Fisher.
Wednesday, 12th June: 7:30 p.m. Guild Office & Benediction at St Mary Magdalene's Church, Milton, New Milton.
Saturday, 13th July: 12:00 noon Glastonbury Pilgrimage. There will be a coach from Bournemouth leaving St Ambrose Church at 8:30 a.m. with other pick-up points. As in previous years the GSS Banner and thurible will join the Procession of Witness.
Thursday, 18th July: 7:30 p.m. Summer Festival Mass at St Mary & St Bartholomew, Cranborne; Celebrant: Fr Robert Simpson, Rector of the Quintet Group of Parishes of Cranborne, St Mary and St Bartholomew with Boveridge, Edmondsham, Wimborne St Giles and Woodlands.
Tuesday, 3rd September: 7:00 p.m. Mass at the Abbey Church of the Blessed Virgin & Holy Child, Beaulieu; Celebrant: Fr John White.
Wednesday, 2nd October: 7:30 p.m. Guild Office at the Church of the Holy Angels, Lilliput, Poole; Officiant: Fr Inglis Mayo.
Tuesday, 12th November: 7:30 p.m. Requiem Mass for Departed Members of the Guild at St Katharine's Church, Southbourne, Bournemouth; Celebrant: Fr Kevin Cable. If St Stephen's Church holds theirs on All Souls' Day, we shall be pleased to support theirs also.
Tuesday, 3rd December: 6:00 p.m. Mass, Advent Meditation and Guild Office (said) at St Ambrose, Westbourne, Bournemouth; Celebrant & Officiant: Fr Adrian Pearce.
For more details of Chapter activities contact the Secretary, Alan Scott: Tel. 01202 531609 or email: [email protected]
The Guild Collect
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God,
to us Thy servants, the spirit of holy fear:
that we, following the example of Thy holy child Samuel,
may faithfully minister before Thee in Thy Sanctuary;
through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord,
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
ever One God, world without end. Amen.