Guild of All Souls

The Guild of All Souls was founded on 15 March 1873 by Joseph and Walter Plimpton and Edward Frederick Croom who were all communicants of St. James's, Hatcham in England. The Vicar, Fr Arthur Tooth, was the first president. The purpose of the Guild Burial Society was:

"to provide furniture for Burial according to the use of the Catholic Church so as to set forth the two great doctrines of the Communion of Saints and the Resurrection of the Body; and Intercessory prayer for the Dying and for the repose of the souls of the deceased members and all the faithful departed."

The work of the Guild soon attracted the attention of other churches in England and from a small parochial group it increased rapidly in membership. In addition to the above aims, the following have also become commended to the prayers of members in the American chapter of the Guild:

  1. the restoration of the use of the Rite of Healing and the Anointing of the Sick, (sometimes called the Sacrament of Holy Unction) and

  2. the wide restoration of the custom of reserving the Holy Eucharist for the sick and dying.

A chapter of this prayer Guild was established at St Peter's Eastern Hill, Melbourne in, or shortly after, 1904 and achieved prominence under Fr James Cheong and Mrs Barton; with 75 members in 1915 — this number included 17 priests. Although the Guild long ago fell into abeyance, it is now our aim to re-establish it at St Peter's and to offer membership to all in Australia and beyond.

Privileges of Guild Members

  • Members are prayed for annually on the anniversary of their death by the members of the Guild, and have Mass offered for them.

  • Members may obtain the prayers of the Guild for departed close relatives and close friends.

Duties of Guild Members

  • Once a week, perhaps Fridays, to say Prayers for the Guild, for the sick, for the dying and for deceased members of the Guild.

  • If possible, to attend Mass on 2 November, All Souls Day.

  • To support devotions for the departed in church.

  • To arrange that upon your death, notice shall be sent to the Chaplain of the Guild so that we may all pray for you.

  • Priest members are asked to celebrate the Holy Eucharist at least once a year on behalf of the Guild.