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The Guild of St Stephen

Mass of Dedication for the new altar servers who have completed their first year.

Prayer of Dedication

St Stephen was the first martyr. The story of his arrest and stoning to death on trumped up charges unfortunately has many echoes still today.
'Then they brought in some men to tell lies about him. "This man," they said, "is always talking against our sacred Temple and the Law of Moses. We heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will tear down the Temple and change all the customs which have come down to us from Moses!" All those sitting in the Council fixed their eyes on Stephen and saw that his face looked like the face of an angel....'

Full story in Chapters 6-7,
Acts of the Apostles

"Look," [Stephen] said, "I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him, and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man called Saul.

While they were stoning Stephen he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this he died.

And Saul approved of their killing him."
Boxing Day is so-called from the old custom of giving - or even asking for - Christmas 'boxes' on this day, in money or in kind. The 'box' referred to the box in which the money was placed and gradually came to mean the gift itself. Gifts given on this day were usually for services rendered, usually by servants, apprentices or tradespeople. Grocers might give their employees gifts of plums for their puddings or the baker might give them a plum cake. There were many other customs some of which have died out, others which have just become part of the Christmas season in general Receive this medal....

Receive this medal...

Enrolment in the Guild of St Stephen
December 26th is the feast day of St Stephen the first martyr, who was stoned to death outside the walls of Jerusalem, and a special day for the boys and girls who are enrolled into the guild of St Stephen after serving for a year on the altar at church. At their special Mass at midday they make the Guild promises to assist on the altar as much as they can when they are needed, and "with the help of God" They also receive medals and certificates to mark this important occasion.

As many of the more experienced servers as possible attend this annual Mass to give their support.


Click on one of these pictures for a larger photo of all the servers
2001 2002 2003
Guild of St Stephen - Feastday 26th December 3 new servers in 2005
New members of the Guild in 2005
10 years service in the Guild!
Our altar servers with their new silver medals for more than ten years service - 2003

Dedication of the new altar servers 2004