For 138 years, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church has served the community. In addition to the ongoing costs of maintaining the church, St. Andrew's Church is old and is in need of many repairs. The small parish is unable to financial meet these demands and a decision has been made to close their doors on a date yet to be determined. The building and the property are owned by the Episcopal Diocese of NY and they will be making the decisions on what will be done with the church. The church has commitments until the end of April with the Brewster Emergency Shelter - so the church will not close immediately.
"We've been lacking a continuous spiritual leadership for the past 8 years when the last rector left," explained Paolo Rossi Junior Warden of St. Andrew's. "Currently, the priest-in-charge is Rev. Juan Francisco Perez, Jr who is leading the Harlem Valley Ministries. The Ministry is made up of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Brewster, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Pawling, and MESA in Dover Plains."
The community is welcomed to attend the Christmas Eve Service on December 24th at 3:30pm. This will be the last Christmas Eve service and we hope the community will fill the beautiful church for this holy occasion.
Many community organizations use the church facilities including the Brewster Community Food Pantry, Brewster Earlier Birds AA group, Brewster Recovery AA group, and Search For Change. They are all seeking a new home.
"This was a heart wrenching decision that was not made lightly," stated Stephanie Fiorentino, Administrator at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. "This church was not only a beacon for the community of Brewster but also, for our parishioners, a second home. We are losing our spiritual home. We will always be in each other’s lives. The parishioners of St Andrew's are an amazing and loving group of people. Each of them love the community. Some of them have been going to St Andrew's since they were children."
Our hearts go out to our friends and neighbors of St. Andrew's Church. If you wish to contact St. Andrew's or help by providing financial support, please call Wardens Frank Farrel or Paolo Rossi at (845) 279-4325
The following historic information and more can be found on St. Andrew's Church website.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, A National Landmark
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church’s building is listed on both the New York State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
The current stone church is the third church of the parish at the same site. A wooden church was built in 1881 and was replaced in 1901 with a stone structure. That stone building, almost identical to the one existing now, burned down within a few months of being consecrated, but was almost immediately rebuilt with virtually the same design.
The church building exists as it is today because of the generosity of Seth B. Howes, who made his fortune in real estate and as an early circus entrepreneur. While he was building his estate in Brewster, Morningthorpe, he offered to replace an earlier wood frame structure of St. Andrew's Church with a more stylish stone church in the English country gothic Revival style. The same granite that was used to create Morningthorpe was also used for the church.