The Guild of St Stephen is an International Organisation of Altar Servers founded in England in 1904 by Father Hamilton McDonald when he formed a Society of Altar Servers at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in London. In 1905, Pope Pius X gave his approbation to the Canonical establishment of the Guild at Westminster Cathedral and in 1906, the Sacred Congregation of Rites made the Guild an Archconfraternity prima primaria enabling all the parish branches to be linked with it. The Guild spread, and in 1934, Pope Pius XI enabled all Guilds of Altar Servers throughout the British Commonwealth to be affiliated with the Archconfraternity at Westminster.

The objectives of the Guild:
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.

St Stephen, Deacon & Martyr
The name Stephen means, "crown", and St Stephen was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown. Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church. The Apostles had found that they needed helpers to look after the care of the widows and the poor. So they ordained seven deacons, and Stephen is the most famous of these.

Guild Medals
Servers are awarded with a Bronze Medal after a year's service and when fully trained.
Silver Medals are awarded for Long Service.
To be awarded a medal, first, the parish priest, or local director of the Guild, has decided this particular server is eligible and worthy to be admitted to the Guild. Second, the server accepts and wears the medal as a sign of commitment - commitment to serve regularly and commitment to serve as well as possible. A commitment is a serious promise, and this promise is a serious one because it is made to God and the Church.