| History of St. Paul's |
The Episcopal Church in Westfield dates back to the spring of 1867. In the course of its development it has had three different names: Grace Church, Christ Church, and St. Paul's Church. It is one of the largest parishes in the Diocese of New Jersey with more than 1200 members.
The current building was constructed in 1952 with additional buildings added in 1960, including a chapel, 15 additional classrooms, a lounge, choir, office and staff rooms, cloister and garth.
Under the current rector, the Reverend Andrew Hamersley, the Sunday school and youth programs have flourished with more than 200 young people involved.
Church services are extensive at St. Paul's with the Eucharist celebrated at least three days a week also with a healing service on Thursdays. Holy days are celebrated as well. Morning Prayer is said Monday through Friday.
Music has been an integral part of the history of St. Paul's including a choir of men and boys which existed for nearly a century. From the 1980's on, the choir has consisted of men and women supplemented by professional singers. And since the 1960's, an annual concert is given, often with orchestral accompaniment by members of the New Jersey Symphony. Under organist/choirmaster Charles Banks, five additional choirs have been created and perform on special occasions and feast days.
The creation of St. Paul's Day School in the 1950's has been an important feature of the parish. The day school currently serves over 240 students.
St. Paul's has a long history of serving the community and the Diocese of New Jersey. Under Father Hamersley it continues to grow and thrive, serving God's people and purpose here in Westfield.
(portions of the preceding material are taken from Highlights of the Episcopal Church in Westfield, New Jersey, by Arthur C. Kammerman)