Taking advantage of the School’s unique position in the heart of Guildford, the RGS continues to take genuine pride in meeting the charitable aims for which it was established over 500 years ago. The annual Commemoration Service held in Holy Trinity Church provides an opportunity for the whole school to thank those who gave so selflessly to benefit future generations of RGS students as well as the local community:
We thank God for our founders and many benefactors, men and women, whose generosity and dedicated service have built, maintained and improved the School over the centuries. In particular, we thank God for Robert Beckingham to whose will we trace our first foundation in 1509; for the Mayor and Approved men of Guildford, led by John Austen and William Hamonde, whose generosity and determination resulted in the construction of the Old Building; for Joseph Nettles who founded a University Scholarship in 1692, which later became the main endowment of the School; for the local men and women who gave their money, time and skill to rebuild the School in the 1880s under the leadership of Canon Arthur Valpy and Herbert Powell; and for the many contributors to the independence appeal of 1977, whose generosity preserved the School for the benefit of this town and county.
The School remains acutely aware of the importance of being outward-looking as well as inward-looking and so encourages among the boys an appreciation of the world outside and a sense of service locally and further afield. This community outlook forms a core part of each boy’s educational experience and helps to raise each individual’s awareness of the contribution which they can make outside the walls of the RGS. This altruistic outlook is, and has been throughout its history, at the very heart of the School’s ethos.