CU and the Pauline Meetings have been running meetings, events and holidays since 1885, the year after St Paul’s School moved to West Kensington. The first meetings were started by a boy – one ARK Hyslop (captain of school) – and all the school-based activities have been run by boys ever since.

The last 130 years have seen many changes, but our aims have remained the same: to offer a friendly environment in which Paulines can develop and articulate their beliefs and values; to offer the chance to take part in informed, stimulating discussion about matters of faith; and to provide plenty of fun. Then there are the many charity initiatives and activities, as well as joint events with other school societies. See the CU Sundays section for more information on these.

Beyond the school gates

At the turn of the last century, some of the many Old Paulines who had fond memories of their time at CU joined together to organise Sunday meetings for the boys, to complement the activities at school. These gatherings first took root in Barnes, where they continue, but have also been held at Ealing and Chiswick over the years. As an extension of the Friday meetings and involving former as well as current members of CU, the Sunday events were to provide the springboard for something altogether more substantial…

A break from the norm

After the First World War, the members realised there was scope to extend their activities to a residential holiday and, in 1919, they held the first house party. That inaugural trip was, by all accounts, a riotously joyous affair and immediately became an annual fixture. From those beginnings as a week’s holiday for 12 people in a country pub, the house parties now attract some 130 Paulines and leaders, and occupy an entire boarding school in the countryside each Easter and summer holiday (see the ‘House Parties’ section). They are the best-attended residential trips organised for Paulines, and their combination of fun, fellowship and variety is enduringly popular.