Sunday, July 15, 2012

St Philip's Episcopal Church, New Hope, PA, 15 Jul 12

On my way home from BCF I detoured via New Hope to visit Father Michael Ruk who has a new parish there. He attended Christ Church when he was a student at Allegheny College so he is sort of a foster son of the parish. Our choir sang for his ordination at the cathedral in Pittsburgh and our rector at the time was one of the people who vested him. Dumb me forgot to take a photo of him.  

St Philip's is one of the smallest active church buildings I've ever seen. The entire church, roof and all, would probably fit inside the Berkshire School dining hall. I'm not sure how close the interior is to Christ Church's Walker Room but it can't be much larger. 

This is the entrance to the church complete with a red door.

This is the altar space.

This is the rest of the room from the altar. I told you it is tiny. I think there are three rows of thankfully moveable chairs, 4 across on each side of the center aisle then more chairs lined against the walls. The piano can be seen in the left corner and there is a coffee pot on the right at the back. The person who played is excellent. There is what I assume is the sacristy at the left and there is a small bathroom opposite it in the "hall".

Outside there is a small garden area I didn't photograph because I had already disturbed some people there who seemed somewhat unhappy about something. And there is this labyrinth one of which I wish we could build.

The people were very friendly. Most introduced themselves. One lady is a Thiel grad. I didn't count but there seemed to be around 30 in attendance. Many more at the early service I was told. They sang very well and participated audibly in the liturgy. I decided that small buildings definitely have benefits. Something to think about with our vestry retreat coming soon.

It must have been a good sermon because I remember much of it.

The church people seem to reflect the community which is diverse, artsy, intellectual and fascinating. I found that both comforting and comfortable. I highly recommend St Philips to both residents and visitors and New Hope certainly has its share of visitors.

1 comment:

forsythia said...

There's an itty-bitty Episcopal church near Bowie, MD called St James. Its parishioners lovingly call it "small and mighty St James."

Comment # 1 was mine too. I had to edit it.