Our founder, Rahere, a courtier, pilgrim and favourite of King Henry I, still rests in the nave of Great St Bart’s and is fondly remembered for his devotion, compassion and service to the people of London. We have founded a Company in his memory to recognise those who give to our Anniversary Campaign.
When Rahere returned from Rome, inspired by a vision of St Bartholomew urging him to build a hospital and priory church at Smithfield, he no doubt recognised the magnitude of the task ahead of him. 900 years later, as we plan for the future of St Bart’s, our vision feels just as compelling and no less ambitious in scale. In the 12th century, Rahere looked to the Crown and a small group of benefactors for support. Today, that same invitation is extended to us all. The Company of Rahere, a special philanthropic fellowship of givers, is very much the keystone of our anniversary fundraising campaign and in joining us, you will be playing a critical role in seeing our anniversary projects through to completion.
Become a Founding Member
To become a Founding Member of the Company, you are invited to make a gift to the Anniversary Campaign, at one of the three levels indicated below. Membership comes with several benefits, including an annual celebratory event on St Bartholomew’s Day. All Members have the option of dedicating their gift (which can be pledged over five years), either in their own name or in memory of a loved one. They are also invited to feature in a commemorative Company Charter housed within the Church.
Responding to the call
Rahere’s lasting achievements came as a result of responding to a profound call. His encounter with St Bartholomew was life-changing and the legacy of his spiritual journey still speaks to us today. As we reflect on nine centuries of ministry and mission in this incredible place, we too, are part of Rahere’s story.
Our call may not take the form of a startling vision on the road home from Rome, but it is, nonetheless, one that appeals to our sense of responsibility, commitment and imagination. As stewards of this wonderful parish, together we can create a unique place of fellowship, learning, music, and ministry for the benefit of future generations.