The Guild of All Souls is an Anglican devotional society praying for the souls of the Faithful Departed, and teaching the Catholic doctrine of the Communion of Saints. The Guild was founded in March 1873 at St. James’s Church, Hatcham. It was originally called the Guild Burial Society, with Father Arthur Tooth SSC (prosecuted and imprisoned in 1877 for the use of incense, vestments and altar candles!!) as its 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 throughout England. Branches were founded in the USA (1889) and in Australia (1904).

Members are asked to pray weekly for the dead; to show care for the dying and bereaved; to attend a Requiem Mass once a month.

It is a great consolation for the members of the Guild to know (especially if their friends and families are not churchgoers and will probably not pray for them) that all the departed members are remembered on the anniversary of their deaths at the Mass in the Guild Chapel at Walsingham (the octagonal red-brick chapel next to the Shrine).

The stated objectives of the Guild today are:


  • prayer for the dying and the faithful departed in Purgatory;
  • the celebration of Requiem Masses;
  • promotion of the Communion of Saints and the Resurrection of the  Dead;
  • promotion of The Sacrament of Healing (Anointing);
  • Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament for the sick and the dying.
  • Provide Requiem vestments for parishes that cannot otherwise afford them.


At St. Paul’s there was a local Chapter of the Guild many years ago, as it is attested by this chasuble donated by the Guild to our church. If you are considering joining the Guild, please, talk to the Vicar.

St Paul's

St Paul’s is a lively, forward-looking Anglican church in the Catholic tradition. We are affiliated to the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda and our PCC has passed the resolution seeking episcopal oversight from the Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

We are part of the diocese of Salisbury and the Deanery of Weymouth and Portland. We maintain very close links with our Voluntary Aided School, Beechcroft St. Paul’s. 

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58 Abbotsbury Road



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