We see a future in Chester!
Business Hours Mon-Fri 9-12 (610)872-5711
O God, who for our redemption didst give thine only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through the same thy Son Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
HOLY EUCHARIST ON SUNDAY AT 9:00 with music . In-person or by live-stream on our Facebook page.
MORNING PRAYER WEDNESDAY AT 10:00 Live-streamed on our Facebook page
BIBLE STUDY ON MONDAY AT 11:00
SPIRITUAL COUNSEL, SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION AND SACRAMENT OF HEALING ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT
The church operates a free wellness center in partnership with our diocese and Widener University; and we partner with St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and Chester Eastside Inc. Our clergy minister to residents of Episcopal Place at Park Row; we support City Team, the Salvation Army and Kidz First.
St. Paul's has made its commitment to remain in Chester. We see a future in Chester.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is a long-established Episcopal church (1702) in the heart of Chester, a city that has undergone many changes since a time of great prosperity in the 19th and early 20th centuries. From that heyday, there has been many economic declines. This has presented us with considerable challenges as we strive to our mission of bringing the knowledge and service of Jesus Christ to our community; of sharing and spreading the Good News of God’s love among all people; and of being a welcoming haven of strength and service to our community, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit
To further our mission, we have created a free wellness center in partnership with our diocese and Widener University. We also have a partnership with St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, at the western end of Chester, and also with Chester Eastside Inc., a community ministry that operates from St. Paul’s building. Our clergy ministers to the residents of Episcopal Place at Park Row, housing for seniors and individuals with special needs. We support City Team, a mission for men in Chester and the Salvation Army and Kidz First. And, we collect toiletries for the Wesley House, our neighbor at 7th and Madison, an emergency shelter for families and single women and the Family Management Center.
In 1702, Christ Church of Philadelphia established a mission Anglican Church in the growing riverfront town of Chester , Pennsylvania . The first service held in the new church was on January 24, 1703. Since this was the day before the Conversion of St. Paul, the Rev. John Talbot, who preached the first sermon on that day suggested the new church take the name of St. Paul . Two relics of those early days still exist. The Queen Anne Silver, presented in 1705, and the Sandelands tombstone which is embedded in the west wall of the nave.
Throughout the 18th century and into the early 19th century, St. Paul's struggled to survive. The low ebb came in 1831 when the Rev. Richard U. Morgan left. There was no rector and there were no communicants. With the appointment of the Rev. John Baker Clemson in 1831, St. Paul's began a long and steady period of growth. In 1850, a new church building was completed and in 1863, with the arrival of the Rev. Henry Brown, St. Paul's began growing. To make room for a growing congregation, a second church, St. Luke's, was built in the South Ward and in 1873 the church building was enlarged.
The Rev. Francis M. Taitt followed the Rev. Brown in 1893 and assured that St. Paul's would have financial stability. He established an endowment in 1913 that carried the church through its lean years. On Easter Sunday, 1900, the present St. Paul's Church was completed at Ninth and Madison Streets. The Rev. Taitt remained as Rector until 1929 at which time he was elected the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
Church membership peaked in the mid 1960's, but subsequently Chester experienced an economic downturn. Several times in the past few decades we considered relocating the church from Chester to the outlying suburbs, but we concluded that the church should remain as a point of stability in the city.
The present church building is the third in our long history. Located at the corner of Ninth and Madison Streets in Chester, Pennsylvania, this building was completed in the spring of 1900.
St. Paul's is a Gothic Revival church built in the form of a cross, facing toward the east. This orientation allows the morning sun to shine through the large altar window depicting the "Conversion of St. Paul." This window is a masterpiece from the Lewis Comfort Tiffany Studios, as are several others throughout the church. There are also windows produced by the Willetts Studio, another renowned name in stained glass work.
Among the many memorial gifts is an Aeolian-Skinner organ, presented to the church in 1956 by Fredrick Bodiee in memory of his wife Adelaide. This organ is one of the last of those personally built by the founders of this world-renowned organ company and has been maintained in excellent condition.
The bell tower has an eleven-bell carillon, also a gift to the church from the estate of Miss Laura Hard, daughter of The Rev. Anson Hard. The bells were first rung on July 4, 1909, the birthday of Miss Hard. The carillon can be played can be played from a station in the sacristy or from the organ console.
The parish lobby was renovated in 1998. The parking lot was renovated in 2005.The church also owns a small plot of land directly behind the parking lot which is currently being used by Chester Eastside Inc. as a community garden.