"For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven..." ~Ecclesiastes 3:1
1929-1940: the Early History
The will of George Washington Nevil in 1929 included a bequest to the bishop of Pennsylvania to build a church in memory of the Nevil family with endowment income to keep the church in repair. The church, parish house and rectory were built in the present location, even though Bishop Thomas J. Garland did not want it so close to the existing Ardmore church (St. Mary's).
Bishop Francis M. Taitt consecrated the church in 1932. Because it was self-supporting from the beginning, it was not a mission - the bishop was the titular rector and the ministers-in-charge were its vicars. Regular services began with attendance exceeding expectations. With new families moving into Haverford Township in the 1940s, the parish grew and prospered.
1950-1974: the Van der Hiel Years
During the summer of 1950, Peter C. Van der Hiel
arrived as the vicar of St. George's. He felt it time for the church (known as "the Bishop's Church") to change its unique status to that of a parish. The Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County granted a charter in 1952. Van der Hiel became the first rector, and the vestry members were those who signed the charter.
A capital fund campaign in 1955 permitted the enlargement of the church and the extension of the parish house. Outreach continued during this period with the parish meeting their contributions to the diocese and the national church.
1975-1994: the McKendrick Years
With Peter Van der Heil's retirement in 1974, the vestry for the first time had to elect a rector. Chosen the following year, James F. McKendrick added family services with the Eucharist every Sunday at 9:30 A.M. between the 8:00 A.M. Eucharist and the 11:00 A.M. Morning Prayer.
The new service attracted families who could keep their children in church and those seeking a more personal or charismatic style of worship. In time, declining attendance at the 11:00 o'clock service led to its elimination and the family service was moved to 10:00 A.M. as the principal Sunday worship service.
McKendrick also introduced the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and the 1982 Hymnal to educate the parish toward Eucharistic worship and living. Some parishioners disagreed and left the parish; other parishioners stopped attending the services at St. George; but other parishioners who appreciated the
service changes became the core of our present congregation. However, membership continued to decline, and in 1994 McKendrick resigned.
1994-1996: a period of reflection
The ice storm of January 1994 did extensive damage to the property of the church. The proceeds from insurance, and funds from other sources, helped repair the damages and to renovated the parish house to establish a state-of-the-art day care center. Called the Children's Ark at St. George's, this center operates at near capacity.
During this two-year interim, a period of reflection, the parish reached a turning point. With new resolve and commitment, the parish elected William Duffey.
1996-2008: the Duffey Years
When William Duffey arrived, he found a physical plant in good repair and a congregation with zest for spirit-filled worship and mission. His 12-year tenure was marked by vigorous growth in membership and ministries, and crowned by the celebration of St. George's Diamond Jubilee.
During this year-long series of events we looked backward over our rich 75-year tradition and forward to an exciting future. Fr. Duffey's retirement at the end of June 2008 was an occasion of sadness as well as deep gratitude for his service to St. George's.
2008-2009: another period of reflection
Upon Fr. Duffey's retirement we entered another interim period, with the Rev. Steve Snider as our interim priest. A nine-member Discernment Committee appointed by the Vestry engaged in the process that led to the selection of a new permanent rector, The Rev. Ryan R. Whitley.
2010- : the Whitley Years
Fr. Ryan's first Sunday with us was January 24, 2010. Please come join us at this exciting time in the life of our church as we together write the next chapter in our parish history!
St. George's mission is to share together God's work in our lives through liturgy and sacrament, through joyous and caring fellowship, and through courageous and compassionate engagement with the world.
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