Originally established to provide Church of England clergy with support and guidance on conducting funerals, The Guild of All Souls has sought to fulfill two main tasks since its foundation in 1873. First, to maintain a continuous chain of intercession for the souls of the faithful departed as a practical witness to the doctrines of the Communion of Saints and the Resurrection of the Dead. Secondly, to provide care for the dying. Prayer for the departed is at the heart of The Guild's work but its scope has widened to include prayer and care for the sick, dying and bereaved.
Walsingham pilgrims will be familiar with The Guild’s Chantry Chapel of St Michael built in 1965 at the top of the steps leading to the Shrine church, but may not be aware of its purpose. Mass is offered there daily and departed Guild members remembered in prayer on the anniversary of their death (it is the only society where membership never ceases!). Their names are printed in the Chantry List displayed in the chapel and on the website.
Candles are available to burn as a sign of prayer for departed loved ones and The Guild’s Chantry Priest, Fr Andrew Greany, is available to listen to and pray with anyone who is bereaved.
Guild publicaons have become an important part of its mission. These include prayer cards, Prayers for Those who Sit with the Dying and Upon my Death - a very helpful booklet to record wishes about the conduct of one's own funeral. All are freely available in the chapel; there is no charge, though donations are welcome. Annual events include a conference on a subject within the particular remit of The Guild and the Annual Requiem and AGM which takes place at S. Stephen's, Gloucester Road, London.
To join The Guild or to discover more about its work, visit the Guild's website: www.guildofallsouls.org.uk