William of Wykeham Guild and Contact Group
The William of Wykeham Guild was formed in June 1951 by the Revd. Michael Wall during the ministry of the Revd. Canon R. A. Courthope for “young people between the ages of 18 and 30 years”, and it flourished in the parish for 20 years.
It met every Tuesday throughout the year (mostly in the “Old Boys’ School Room” opposite to the church), with the same boast as a popular war time West End theatre – “We never closed” – because we carried on meeting throughout the months of July and August.
In June 1971 the decision was taken to disband the William of Wykeham Guild and reform the constitution to create a new organisation named The Contact Group to meet once a month on a Sunday evening in the home of one of its members. The Contact Group continued in this form for some 24 years until 1995, when the members decided to close it down.
The Associate Life Membership was created in 1969 to keep all the former members of the William of Wykeham Guild and the Contact Group in touch. Its first major undertaking was to organise a reunion in 1972 to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the formation of the William of Wykeham Guild; this was followed by a 30th Anniversary in 1981 and a 40th in 1991. It was at this event that it was agreed that we should endeavour to have an informal reunion every two years, and this we have done ever since, with a major 50th Anniversary taking place in 2001 here at St Andrew’s. The means of keeping members in touch has been through the publication of an annual “Chronicle“, usually in February or March, and some 120 copies are now circulated. The “Chronicle” contains news of the parish and former members of the Guild and Group respectively.