Our annual Founder’s Day is a momentous occasion were old and young come together to give thanks to the charity’s Founder, Archbishop John Whitgift, whose original mission was to educate the young and care for the elderly.
Founder’s Day takes place annually on 22nd March, when on that date in 1596, the first two foundation stones were laid at the Hospital of the Holy Trinity, North End (now known as the Whitgift Almshouses).
The day is steeped in tradition and commences with a call of drums outside Croydon Minster followed by a service led by the Vicar of Croydon, before the schools and care homes each enjoy a special Founder’s Day lunch.
The Founder’s Day Service is supported by one of the great Livery Companies of the City of London, the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers’.
Historically, the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers’ granted £100 in a will made by Archbishop Whitgift’s former Chaplain in 1613 (with whom he had family connections) and the interest from this sum was to be used to pay for an annual Founder’s Day Service, preacher and fish supper.
Archbishop Whitgift’s legacy is seen today through The Whitgift Foundation’s work in the community. The Foundation currently educates 3,200 students at Whitgift, Trinity and Old Palace Schools supported by one of the largest bursary support schemes in the UK. Whitgift Care cares for 100 older people who live in three care settings at Whitgift House, Wilhelmina House and the Whitgift Almshouses. Carers Information Service supports Croydon carers with free information, advice and health and wellbeing activities.
Below is a facsimile of a report in the Daily Telegraph published 29 March 1930, detailing the Founder's Day of that year.