The ‘'Spirit of Toc H' that was discovered by the thousands of young men who ventured through the doors of Talbot House in Poperinge in World War I was something quite special and those who survived decided that they should do something to preserve this Spirit. There was widespread support for this and it led to the formation of the Toc H Movement. In 1922 it was granted a Royal Charter and the first statement about what Toc H should stand for was drawn up. It was known as ‘The Main Resolution’ and in many Toc H centres today it is often prominently displayed and said before meetings. It reads as follows:
‘Remembering with gratitude how God used the Old house to bring home to multitudes of men that behind the flow of things temporal stand the eternal realities, and to send them forth strengthened to fight at all costs for the setting up of His Kingdom upon earth; we pledge ourselves to strive:
To listen now and always for the voice of God;
To know His will revealed in Christ and to do it fearlessly reckoning nothing for the world’s opinion or its successes for ourselves or this our family,
And towards this end:
To love widely
To build bravely
To think fairly
To witness humbly
More recently a further statement about ‘The Spirit of Toc H’ was drawn up, reaffirming the sentiments expressed in the ‘Main resolution’: it is known as ‘The Statement of Re-affirmation’ and reads as follows:
‘Toc H is a Journey of Discovery, a journey which leads both outwards and inwards. What we believe affects how we live, and our experience affects what we believe. These are not two journeys but one, because they depend on each other. As we journey outwards, trying to build a loving society, we also journey inwards, seeking personal wholeness.
The Journey Outwards is the development of loving relationships in every sphere of life. It is a practical testing out of the principles expressed in the life of Jesus.
The Journey Inwards is a discovery of meaning, a test of belief, and an exploration and an openness to the Christian way. Our Commitment to these simultaneous journeys is based on two principles:
Toc H is open to all. This means that some members are committed to a church while some are exploring meaning and purpose in life with no specific allegiance to any church. There is no credal test for membership
Toc H is based on Christian insights and has Christian roots. We undertake to test in our own lives the validity of the claims made by Jesus in his teachings and in the way He lived.