RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelFonds
Alt Ref NoGSB
Extent6 boxes
TitleGuild of St. Barnabas
Date1887-2012
DescriptionArchives of the Guild of St. Barnabas, an association for Anglican nurses. Includes:

Minutes of meetings of the Council of the Guild and Annual General Meetings of the Guild, 1887-2012;

Financial records including Finance Sub-Committee minutes, 1963-1979, and Benevolent Fund Committee minutes, 1971-1979;

Photographs and artefacts;

Other papers such as: papers relating to the Constitution of the Guild; papers regarding the registration of the Guild as a charity; correspondence regarding the 90th Birthday Celebrations of the Guild; and letters regarding the closure of Guild and Thanksgiving Service on 13 June 2012.
LanguageEnglish
AdminHistoryThe Guild of St Barnabas was founded as an association to provide for the spiritual needs of Anglican nurses. The idea of an association for Anglican nurses for purely religious purposes was developed by Susan Emily Antrobus (1837-1913), the Foundress and first Superior General of the Guild.

The first meeting was held on 11 June 1876, St. Barnabas Day, with Father Edward Russell of St Alban's Holborn, who had been asked to serve as Chaplain for the first year and to take the chair. Russell subsequently became the first Chaplain General of the Guild. At that time only trained nurses who were Communicant members of the Church of England were eligible to join. First they were admitted on probation as Associates, and then after six months of satisfactory probation they were promoted to Full Membership.

Members were to follow a Rule of Life, and meetings were held monthly for prayer, to hear an address by the Chaplain or someone appointed by him, followed by tea and recreation. Annual General Meetings were held yearly in June, with a corporate Communion on St. Barnabas Day.

In November 1887 those attending the monthly meeting of the Matrons' Conference proposed that there should be a Council made up of 15 members, 11 representatives and 4 ex-officio officers. The Council was to be elected every 3 years. Also during 1887 members of the Cowley Fathers in America were in the UK and visited the Guild. Subsequently they founded the American Guild of St Barnabas, which was a separate organisation to the UK. Guild.

The Guild grew rapidly. By 1934 membership had risen to over 6,000. There were also 126 branches scattered throughout the world. The membership eventually peaked at just over 7,000.

In the revision of the 1956 revision of the Constitution, the Superior General's title was changed to Secretary General, and the former Secretary General became the Secretary. In 1966 the Council set in motion the registration of the Guild as a charity. In 1970 the Benevolent Fund was set up, to make grants to Guild members who had fallen into poverty, or were sick or aged.

By the 1960's there was concern about the difficulty of attracting new members, and branches were closing all over the country. Membership continued to decline. Eventually it was decided that the Guild should close. The final meeting of the Guild was held on 13 June 2012, at St Matthew's Church, Westminster, when twelve members assembled for a day of thanksgiving and celebration of the Guild, with a Eucharist led by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres.

Source: 'The Guild of St Barnabas: A History' by Felicity J. Bullock (in Lambeth Palace Library's printed books collection).
AcquisitionGiven to the Library by the Guild as it came to the end of its life in 2013.
RelatedMaterialPublished material in Lambeth Palace Library printed book collection. Publications included the newsletter 'Misericordia' and 'Guild News'.

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Related name records
CodeNameDates
GB/109/8235Guild of St. Barnabas for Anglican Nurses; 1876-1876-
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