St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Doylestown is holding many festivities this Saturday, April 22, on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of its first service in the church in 1848. The community is invited starting at 1:00 pm to visit this beautiful Gothic Revival church and enjoy the conviviality that I know, firsthand, is the hallmark of St. Paul’s joyful and generous members.
St. Paul’s owes its existence to Mrs. Elizabeth Pawling Ross, who would ride her horse 26 miles from Doylestown into Philadelphia faithfully every month to attend Holy Communion at the Episcopal Church there. She eventually petitioned the diocese to create an Episcopal parish in her hometown of Doylestown, which in the 1840s was little more than a village crossroad between Philadelphia and Easton. I was happy to draw Mrs. Ross for a coloring book that St. Paul’s will have available Saturday for children to color, while their parents are having refreshments or touring the graceful interior of the building.
Starting at 1 pm Saturday, in front of the church if the weather is fine, a brief ceremony including a greeting by our town mayor and a reenactment of the opening of a time capsule from the church’s inception will take place; from there visitors may stroll from docent to docent inside, hearing interesting facts about the history and architecture of St. Paul’s, chatting with uniformed members of the Bucks County Civil War Round Table, enjoying refreshments and a colorful timeline display in the parish hall, seeing the Mercer tiles in the chapel below and even viewing the lovely enclosed columbarium garden. At 5 pm the same day, St. Paul’s excellent choir will sing a choral evensong service, and on Sunday morning at 10 am the rector, Fr. Daniel Moore, will celebrate a traditional Mass using prayers and hymns of the mid-1800s. Everyone is welcome at these events.
I was pleased to design the logo above for St. Paul’s occasion, which is being used on banners and t-shirts and the like for this year of celebration. I did this illustration below a few years back, depicting the church’s Easter Vigil procession.
St. Paul’s is a very charitable church within our community – for decades it has run Christmas in Doylestown, which benefits local shelters, and they now have a small ‘community food pantry’ in front of its steps for anyone in need. At this weekend’s events there will be a spot for donations to help the underserved in the community and the parish will also host a meal for those in need on Sunday, apart from the festivities – a regular occurrence for this generous church, which does not forget its mission even in the midst of its celebrations.
For all events at St. Paul’s, see their website here.