The first Guild was established at Christ Church Cathedral. In 1987 some interested members of the congregation under the guidance of Archdeacon Alex Craig and Canon Hubert Drillen gathered for the purpose of forming a men’s group. So the Guild of St. Joseph was created.
Objectives were defined for the Guild. These were kept to a minimum and it was decided that our guide should be based on The Rule of Life, as taken from the Book of Common Prayer, 1962 – A Supplementary Instruction to the Catechism. These are detailed in the preceding “Guild Objectives” page.
The emblem of the Guild is that of St. Joseph, with three blooms of the Lily of the Valley superimposed on a simple carpenter’s square. We were fortunate in getting this emblem embroidered by a very talented local artist and had it applied to a simple coloured denim bibbed carpenter’s apron. Each Guild chooses it’s own colour. The apron is worn by members at Guild events such as the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, the Annual Meeting of the Guilds, or when they assume duties such as greeting and ushering at a church service. A lapel pin was produced using the same emblem for identifying Guild members. There is also a prayer card for use as a guide for opening and closing meetings.
The Christ Church Cathedral Guild keeps an inventory of the embroidered emblems and lapel pins which it will supply to other Guilds at cost.
The Guild of St. Joseph has the following main aims:
- The repairs and renovations which have to be done and which they can undertake in and around the church
- Social and religious activities, including fundraising for the work
- Assisting other Parish organizations
- Outreach activities to other parishes
- Helping wherever it can.
There are different levels of membership.
The Guild of St. Joseph has three:
Working members, who do the Guild’s work in and around the premises;
- Honorary Members, who are the clergy of the Parish and includes other special persons voted as such by the members of the Guild. Very often these Members are also effectively Working Members, as are;
- Associate Members, people who are not Working Members but wish to help in other ways. These members are often formally voted in as official Associate Members.
- And there is another level of workers: Those members of the congregation and other church groups who gladly pitch in to help when needed.
The Guild of St. Joseph is basically a men’s group, but Honorary and Associate members and helpers are both men and women. One outstanding feature of the Guild is it is very positively thought of by all around it and its members are affectionately known as the “Holy Joes.”
Meeting are usually held from September to June and are structured to meet the needs and interests of each Guild. The work of the Holy Joes continues throughout the year, at any time it is needed.
The meetings and activities of the Guilds are not standardized. Each Guild meets when it is most convenient for its members and performs its service to its Parish in the fashion which best suits the abilities and skills of its members and the needs of its Parish. The various services and activities which Guilds perform are extensive and varied.
As stated above, there is no standardization of Guild operations aside from its basic tenets, but each year in September or October the New Brunswick Guilds hold an Annual Meeting, usually the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This is an oportunity for members of the various Guilds to meet old and new friends, get to know each other, exchange ideas, discuss problems and socialize. The meeting is hosted by a different Guild each year. The host Guild is responsible for informing and inviting all the Guilds, running the meeting, taking meeting minutes and distributing them as soon as possible, and providing information and perhaps pictures to the Diocesan Communications Officer, Mrs. Ana Watts for possible inclusion in the New Brunswick Anglican and/or the Diocesan website.
Some Guilds also hold a joint special communion and breakfast on or near March 19, St. Joseph’s Feast Day.
Some of the Guilds have jointly created and contribute to an annual award to honour our beloved founder, Canon Hubie Drillen…..The Canon Hubie Dillen Award. It is designed to assist persons from their Parish studying for religious service as ministers, missionaries, directors of religious education, youth leadership or church music.
For convenience the Guild at Christ Church Cathedral acts as an informal go-between for Guild matters.