Sunday, 12 December 2010

Servers Guild Going Strong at Peacehaven

Peacehave Parish Severs with Parish Priest, Fr Tom Ryan SPS
Christina Lynn reports from Peacehaven about their St Stephen's Guild of Servers:
"There are probably not so many parishes around which can boast such a large proportion of altar servers so, here at The Immaculate Conception in Peacehaven, we consider ourselves to be rather lucky.
The Guild of St Stephen is an International Organisation of Altar Servers founded in England in 1904 by Fr Hamilton McDonald. To become a member involves training and serving for at least six months.

In our parish The Guild of St Stephen was inaugurated in 1978 and a special evening mass was held on 1st November this year to commemorate its 32nd anniversary. Of the 30 current members in our parish only two, David O’Shea and David King Jr, have been there from the very beginning. They both, along with David King Sr, possess the gold medal of merit, which is earned after 25 years of service. A further two members at our parish have received their silver medal, awarded after 10 years of service.

Altogether around 70 people have been enrolled into the Guild at Peacehaven over the years. And at its peak in the late 1980s we had an impressive 35 members. Trying to squeeze so many people onto the sanctuary has been quite a challenge at times!

The strength of the Guild is largely in part due to the efforts of the local MCs who also help the servers to arrange their own social events and outings. Barrie Smith originally brought the Guild to the parish and then Ben Ruocco took over for many years. But for just over 20 years now David O’Shea and David King Sr have shared the role of training new altar servers. Masses regularly throng with altar servers, some of whom also participate in the Altar Servers’ Rally at the Cathedral or during special events. Recently, the servers even made a training video.

Many thanks then to these men for their hard work, guidance and instruction, and we pray that our parish may continue to have such a strong representation in the Guild in the years to come. "

It just shows what a parish can achieve when individuals are committed to the work of serving at the Altar.

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