“Cui Servire Regnare Est”
(To Serve is To Reign) - Guild Motto
The parishes of the Archdiocese of Birmingham are blessed with many committed altar servers - both children and adults. Servers assist the clergy through reverent service at Mass and other liturgies, and therefore serve the people of the parish in their worship of God. Almost all parishes in our diocese are affiliated to the Guild of St. Stephen, and enrol their servers into the Guild.
The Guild of St. Stephen is an international organisation of altar servers, founded in England in 1904 by Fr. Hamilton McDonald. The Guild has spread and developed since then, and is active in many parishes in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
Altar servers take Saint Stephen - one of the first seven deacons chosen to assist the apostles in service (Acts 6) and the first martyr of the Church - as their patron.
The objectives of the Guild are:
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.
The Guild of St. Stephen in the Archdiocese of Birmingham is administered by the Diocesan Vocations Office.
The Director of the Guild is Fr. Craig Szmidt and the administrator is Kathryn Bayliss.
As well as goods (such as Guild medals) and affiliation, we provide opportunities for servers to be trained, formed in their faith and celebrate the good work they do in service of God and others.