Toc H (also TH) is an international Christian movement. The name is an abbreviation for Talbot House, "Toc" signifying the letter T in the signals spelling alphabet used by the British Army in World War I. A soldiers' rest and recreation centre named Talbot House was founded in December 1915 at Poperinghe, Belgium. It aimed to promote Christianity and was named in memory of Gilbert Talbot,son of Lavinia Talbot and Edward Talbot, then Bishop of Winchester, who had been killed at Hooge in July 1915. The founders were Gilbert's elder brother Neville Talbot, then a senior army chaplain, and the Reverend Philip Thomas Byard (Tubby) Clayton. Talbot House was styled as an "Every Man's Club", where all soldiers were welcome, regardless of rank. It was "an alternative for the 'debauched' recreational life of the town".
In 1920, Clayton founded a Christian youth centre in London, also called Toc H, which developed into an interdenominational association for Christian social service.The original building at Poperinghe has been maintained and redeveloped as a museum and tourist venue. Branches of Toc H were established in many countries around the world. An Australian branch was formed in Victoria in 1925 by the heretical Rev. Herbert Hayes. Another was formed in Adelaide the same year.
Toc H members seek to ease the burdens of others through acts of service. They also promote reconciliation and work to bring disparate sections of society together. Branches may organise localised activities such as hospital visits, entertainment for the residents of care homes and organising residential holidays for special groups.
The organisation suffered a progressive decline in membership and closure of branches during the later 20th century. In 2008, continued operation was ensured by dispensing with paid staff. In the 21st century, Toc H trustees have planned for it to become a stronger, voluntary movement still guided by the ethos of the original Talbot House.
Toc H runs schools in India such as Toc-H Public School.
In 2004 it was reported that Toc H had decided to invest in an academy school in Bradford, England. The then chief executive, Geoff Smith, said that the academy would reflect the charity's commitment to community building.It was opened in 2008 by John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.
At the outbreak of World War I Neville Talbot, a senior Church of England chaplain in the British Army, sought to recruit chaplains who would minister to the battalions on the front lines. One of his recruits was the Reverend Phillip Byard Clayton, who was assigned to the East Kent and Bedfordshire regiments. In 1915 Clayton was sent to France and then on to the town of Poperinge in Belgium.
Sitting a few miles back from the trenches around Ypres (nowadays known by its Flemish name Ieper), Poperinge (or "Pops", as the soldiers called it) was a busy transfer station where troops on their way to and from the battlefields of Flanders were billeted. Clayton, universally known as "Tubby", was instructed by Neville Talbot to set up some sort of rest house for the troops.
Clayton chose the Coevoet house – temporarily vacated by its owner, a wealthy local hop merchant – to use as his base, paying rent of 150 francs a month. The house had received significant damage from shellfire, especially the hop loft and the garden. Repairs were begun in September by the Royal Engineers. It opened on 11 December 1915.
Clayton decided to steer away from the traditional church club and set up an Everyman’s House. It was named Talbot House in honour of Lieutenant Gilbert Talbot (Neville’s brother) who had been killed earlier in the year. Talbot House soon became known by its initials TH, and then, in the radio signalers’ phonetic alphabet of the day as Toc Aitch.
The focus of religious services and devotions was a chapel created in the attic, known as the "Upper Room". After the war's end, in 1918,
the interior of the Chapel was sent to London, and temporarily displayed in the crypt of All Hallows-by-the-Tower. From the concise guidebook Clayton compiled for its visitors, we learn why precisely these objects had to be taken home, and why they would return to Poperinge in 1929.
The spirit of friendship fostered at Toc H across social and denominational boundaries inspired Clayton, the Rev. Dick Sheppard and Alexander Paterson to set out in 1920 what became known as the Four points of the Toc H compass:
This followed the foundation of a new Toc H House in Kensington in 1919, followed by others in London, Manchester, and Southampton. The Toc H movement continued to grow in numbers and established, also, a women's league. In 1930, Clayton led Toc H into creative support of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association.
Poperinge is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders, Flemish Region, and has a history going back to medieval times. The municipality comprises the city of Poperinge proper and surrounding villages. The area is famous for its hops and lace.
All Hallows-by-the-Tower, at one time dedicated jointly to All Hallows and the Virgin Mary and sometimes known as All Hallows Barking, is an ancient Anglican church on Byward Street in the City of London, overlooking the Tower of London.
The Royal Army Chaplains' Department (RAChD) is an all-officer corps that provides ordained clergy to minister to the British Army.
Tubby is a nickname and surname and may refer to:
Sanctuary Wood Cemetery is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemetery for the dead of the First World War, 5 km east of Ypres, Belgium, near Hooge in the municipality of Zillebeke. Located off the main Ypres-Menin Road on Canadalaan. The Canadian Hill 62 Memorial is 100 metres further down the road from the cemetery.
The Reverend Philip Thomas Byard Clayton, known as "Tubby" Clayton, was an Anglican clergyman and the founder of Toc H.
Talbot House may refer to:
The Liberties of the Tower, or the Tower Liberty is a small neighbourhood in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, East London, which includes both Tower Hill and the Tower of London. The area was defined sometime after 1200 to provide an open area around the Tower to ensure its defensibility. The Liberty was an independent administrative unit from then until 1900, when it joined the former Metropolitan Borough of Stepney.
Neville Stuart Talbot MC was Bishop of Pretoria in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and later a robust vicar of St. Mary's Church, Nottingham and assistant Bishop of Southwell who turned down the chance to be Bishop of Croydon. He was born at Keble College, Oxford, and died at Henfield, Sussex.
Dame Meriel Lucy Talbot, was a British public servant and women's welfare worker. During the First World War, she organised the Women's Land Army and edited their magazine The Landswoman.
Cuthbert Killick Norman Bardsley was an Anglican bishop and evangelist who served as Bishop of Croydon from 1947 to 1956 and Bishop of Coventry from 1956 to 1976. It was during his tenure at Coventry that the new cathedral was consecrated, following the destruction of its 14th-century predecessor during the Second World War.
Edward Stuart Talbot was an Anglican bishop in the Church of England and the first Warden of Keble College, Oxford. He was successively the Bishop of Rochester, the Bishop of Southwark and the Bishop of Winchester.
Gilbert Talbot may refer to:
The Reverend Frederic Michael Anderton was an English clergyman, distinguished Jungian analyst and a first-class cricketer who played for Cambridge University Cricket Club.
The Cathedral Church of Christ the King, also called Christ Church Cathedral, is an Australian cathedral in Newcastle, New South Wales. It is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Newcastle in the Anglican Church of Australia. The building, designed by John Horbury Hunt in the Gothic Revival style, is located on a hill at the city's eastern end in the suburb called The Hill. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 28 June 2011.
Rupert Edward Inglis was an England international rugby player who later became a Church of England rector. During the First World War, Inglis was a chaplain to the British Army and was killed during the Battle of the Somme.
The statue of Trajan is an outdoor twentieth-century bronze sculpture depicting the Roman Emperor Trajan, located in front of a section of the London Wall built by Romans, at Tower Hill in London, United Kingdom.
Hon. Lavinia Lyttelton was a British promoter of women's education in the United Kingdom.
Coleman Jennings was an American philanthropist, religious leader, and businessman. He had an early career in the banking and finance field before retiring early to focus on philanthropy and community work. He founded the Washington, D.C. branch of Toc H and, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, was the president of the Community Chest of Washington, which later became a part of the United Way of America. Jennings was also a layman and speaker in the Episcopal Church.
Tower Beach was an urban beach on the north bank of the River Thames in London, England, adjacent to the Tower of London, which was open to the public from 1934 to 1971.
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