In the Middle Ages, religious clubs or mutual benefit societies, embracing men and women, were established in nearly every parish church. They kept yearly feasts, supported annals for the repose of deceased members, sometimes also hospitals for the relief of decayed members, and always collected alms for their sick and poor. On certain anniversaries they met at a common altar, wearing livery gowns anal hoods, usually of two colors, and the badge of their patron saint. In the monasteries, kings, nobles, and benefactors were admitted as lay members, and in the parish societies as honorary members. "The members promised fidelity to the guild rules anal obedience to the superiors. Of late the Ritualists in the Anglican Church are endeavoring to revive the guilds, and quite a number had been re- established up to the year 1869. A list of them is given in the Church Union Almanac for 1869 (Lend. 1869). — Walcott, Sacred Archaeology, s.v.