Saint Albans Church was established as the First Reformed Episcopal Church in December 1873. It was originally located at 54th and Madison Avenue, close to the current Sony Tower. In time, the congregation moved from what was thought to be an increasing commercial neighbourhood to Beekman Hill, which at the time was growing and developing new residential buildings. The current building was constructed in 1929, and was in the Tudor style, which was au courrant at the time.
Our move in Summer 2019, prompted a discussion about how to preserve the special features of the old church. While none of the interior fixtures were of historic value, they were of great sentimental value to the congregation. Rather than have them destroyed, we sought to find some way by which they might be preserved and used elsewhere.
Through the efforts of Bernadette Hoke, our music director, we were able to donate our organ to the Daughters of Mary, Roman Catholic order of sisters, who are in the process of building a new church in the upper Hudson Valley. The sisters also took the woodwork, the pulpit, the communion rail and the lectern. All of these will be incorporated in a chapel on their property.
On Tuesday, June 11, the sisters arrived with an army of volunteers, including priests and seminarians from a nearby seminary and lay members of one of their churches. Over the course of four days, they carefully removed the organ and the woodwork and transported it to their convent in Roundtop, New York.
Meanwhile, the communion table and related furniture, along with the baptismal font have been removed and placed into storage for use in our new building, once we have decided where to settle.
We are grateful to Ms Hoke and the sisters for helping us a way to preserve the organ and wooden elements so that they might continue to be used for the worship of God. We are also grateful to Tim Meadows and Meghan Harrington who worked very long days in the last two weeks helping to pack up and supervise the larger move.
With that, we look forward to worshiping in our new space and beginning a new chapter in our efforts to bring the Gospel to New York.
saint albans church The First Reformed Episcopal Church