The Guild, in the early days consisted of three interlinked organisations as follows.
Table of Contents
(I) The Dominican Chapter
The first to be formed was the Chapter of the Dominican Tertiaries. This included non-Guild members such as Commander Shove and Mary Gill.
(II) The Guild of St Joseph and Dominic
Secondly, there was the Guild itself. In fact this was an organisation which, of itself, did not have a very firm legal foundation, it was just a loose members association which did not hold assets. In effect, the purpose of the Guild was to determine who were members of the Guild. Until 1928, there was a requirement that members should also be members of the Dominican Chapters. Importantly, it also specified that Guild members would be members of the third organisation, The Spoil Bank Association Limited.
The constitution of the Guild was as follows
The Guild holds;
- That all work is ordained to God and should be Divine worship.
As human life is ordained to God so must human work be. We cannot serve God and Mammon but we can love God and our neighbour. The love of God means that work must be done according to an absolute standard of reasonableness; the love of our neighbour means that work must be done according to an absolute standard of serviceableness. Good quality is therefore twofold, work must be good in itself and good for use. (From ‘Actus Sequitur Esse’,The Game, Sept.,1921).
- That the principle of individual human responsibility being a fundamental of Catholic doctrine and this principle involving the principle of ownership, workmen should own their own tools, their workshops and the product of their work.
The Guild therefore aims at:
- Making the goodness of the thing to be made the immediate concern in work.
- Undertaking and imposing only such work as involves responsibility for the thing to be made.
- Making the good of the work and the freedom of the workman the test of its workshop methods, tools and appliances.
- Members shall be
- Practising Catholics
- Earning their living by creative manual work
- Owners of their tools and of their work.
- Practising Catholics
- Admission to the Guild shall be by the unanimous consent of the members.
- Applicants for membership who fulfil all conditions for admission shall be postulants for at least one year and shall be known as Qualified Postulants.
- Applicants, such as apprentices, may be admitted to membership who do not yet fulfil the third condition for admission, but shall remain postulants until such time as they are able to fulfil it and shall be known as Unqualified Postulants.
- The approval of the Guild must be obtained for the entrance of any apprentice or employee to a member’s workshop and such apprentices or employees must be Catholics.
- A Guildsman may not enter into workshop partnership with a non Guildsman.
- The members shall elect annually a Prior who shall represent the Guild in all its affairs and superintend the work of such other officers as may be appointed. He shall generally take care that the Constitution be observed.
- There shall be a meeting of the members at least once a month to decide whatever may be required. Postulants shall attend the Guild meetings but without a vote.
- It shall be the Guild’s duty to encourage understanding and practice of its principles among its members by arranging occasions for their discussion and exposition.
- Guildsmen shall meet in the Chapel for prayer in common on such regular occasions as may be arranged.
- There shall be a regular Guild subscription for the upkeep of the Chapel and other expenses.
(III) The Spoil Bank Association Limited
It would seem that at some stage early in the Guild’s life, advice was received that it would be best to conduct the financial affairs of the Guild through the medium of a limited company. Accordingly, a company limited by guarantee was formed on 9 November 1921, named The Spoil Bank Association Limited (company number 00177737) with all Guild members being members of this company. In the Memorandum of Articles, the subscribers are listed as Herbert Joseph Cribb, Carver & Letter Cutter, A.Eric R. Gill, Sculptor, W. David Jones, Painter & Wood Engraver, George Maxwell, Builder, H. Douglas C. Pepler, Printer, Wm. John Tull, Printer, Charles L. Waters, Clerk.
This company owned the Guild property and charged rents to Guild members. I have not been able to establish what the arrangements were before this company was formed, but I imagine that the properties were held in the joint names of the Guild members.