History of the Guild
- To encourage, positively and practically, the highest standards of serving at the Church’s liturgy and so contribute to the whole community’s participation in a more fruitful worship of God.
- To provide altar servers with a greater understanding of what they are doing so that they may serve with increasing reverence and prayerfulness and thereby be led to a deepening response to their vocation in life.
- To unite servers of different parishes and dioceses for their mutual support and encouragement.
Stephen’s name means, “crown”, and he was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr’s crown. Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church. The Apostles had found that they needed helpers to look after the care of the widows and the poor. So they ordained seven deacons, and Stephen is the most famous of these.
God worked many miracles through Stephen and he spoke with such wisdom and grace that many of his hearers became followers of Jesus. The enemies of the Church of Jesus were furious to see how successful Stephen’s preaching was. At last, they laid a plot for him. They could not answer his wise argument, so they got men to lie about him, saying that he had spoken sinfully against God. Stephen faced that great assembly of enemies without fear. In fact, the Holy Bible says that his face looked like the face of an angel. Stephen spoke about Jesus, showing that He is the Saviour, God had promised to send. He scolded his enemies for not having believed in Jesus. At that, they rose up in great anger and shouted at him. But Stephen looked up to Heaven and said that he saw the heavens opening and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. His hearers plugged their ears and refused to listen to another word. They dragged Stephen outside the city of Jerusalem and stoned him to death. Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”
Then he fell to his knees and begged God not to punish his enemies for killing him.
After such an expression of love, the holy martyr went to his heavenly reward. St Stephen’s feast day is on 26th December.
Director and Members of the Central Council
The Archbishop of Westminster is the Superior General of the Archconfraternity and he appoints a priest to be the National Director of the Guild. A lay Central Council consisting of a Lay President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and other members assists him in the running of the Guild. The Central Council is responsible for running the business side of the Guild.
|National Director||Fr Dennis F P Touw|
|Arundel & Brighton||Fr Aaron Spineli|
|Birmingham||Fr Craig Szmidt|
|Brentwood||Fr David Pearce|
|Cardiff||Mr Rick Hodgkiss|
|East Anglia||Fr Peter Rollings|
|Hallam||Mr Jonathan Yewdall|
|Hexham & Newcastle||Mr Marc Besford|
|Lancaster||Fr John Millar|
|Leeds||Mr Frank Sheridan|
|Liverpool||Fr John Harris
Fr Matthew Nunes
|Menevia||Fr Jason Jones|
|Middlesborough||Fr Paul Dowling|
|Northampton||Deacon Peter Griffin|
|Nottingham||Fr Jonathan Whitby-Smith
|Plymouth||Fr Michael Lock|
|Portsmouth||Fr PJ Smith|
|Salford||Fr James Mannock|
|Shrewsbury||Fr Jonathan Mitchell|
|Southwark||Fr Stephen Boyle|
|Westminster||Fr Keith Stoakes|
|Wrexham||Deacon David Ives|
The Central Council
|President||Paul Briers. KHS|
|Communications Officer||Paul Woodhouse
|Goods Manager||Vincent Shalvey
Patrick Taylor (Southwark diocese representative)
|Co-opted members||Anthony Onguseitan
|Honorary Councillors||Michael Chute
I offer myself to God almighty, to blessed Mary, our Mother and to our holy patron, Saint Stephen