Toc H

Toc H is a Christian service club that is committed to building a fairer society by working with communities to promote friendship and service, confront prejudice and practise reconciliation. Most of its work involves the betterment of children. It is based in Buckinghamshire, England and has branches throughout much of the Commonwealth of Nations and Europe. Toc H's operational work ceased at the end of July 2008 pending a period of restructuring.

Toc H has England and Wales Charity Number 211042.

History and Evolution

Toc H first came into existence in 1915 during the First World War. Young Army Chaplain Rev. 'Tubby' Clayton founded a rest house in a house in the Belgian town of Poperinge, a few miles behind the front-line trenches. The house was called [ Talbot House] (whose initials, in the army phonetic alphabet of the day, give Toc H its distinctive name) in memory of Lieutenant Gilbert W. L. Talbot, a friend of Clayton. Unlike many other contemporary establishments, it was open to all ranks. Furthermore, entrance was only allowed if one abandoned rank, making all men inside equals.

Each Branch or unit of Toc H may be issued with a lamp which can be used for the traditional 'ceremony of light' at meetings. The small wick gives off a dim, but distinctive, light. Thus, Toc H gave its name to the (now dated) British colloquialism "as dim as a Toc H lamp", meaning unintelligent.

After the War the men who survived returned to civilian life. They decided to try to recreate the Talbot House experience in peacetime. They started creating opportunities for other people to have that same experience, whether the divisions were of rank, class or any other. To begin with, they set up residential houses, called Marks, like Talbot House. Later, they started forming local branches, which met weekly. Very soon women were fully involved too. The organisation was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1922.

As well as within the United Kingdom, Toc H has branches in Australia, Gibraltar, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Bulgaria, France, and Germany. The Winant-Clayton exchange programme links Toc H with North America.

This international aspect of Toc H work enriches and strengthens the Toc H profile whilst reinforcing the Toc H approach.

Toc H also engages numerous people in volunteer roles doing a wide variety of worthwhile tasks.

The headquarters of Toc H are in Buckinghamshire, England.

In 2007 Toc H sold its box in the Grand Tier at the Royal Albert Hall, London. This was one of its greatest capital assets.

ee also

*Toc-H Public School

External links

* [ Toc H UK]
* [ Toc H South Australia]
* [ Talbot House history]
* [ Winant Clayton Volunteers]

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