CHURCH HISTORY

 

In the Beginning
St. Martinís traces its roots to the post-Civil War era. The Church of the Good Shepherd in Villanova agreed to hold services in Radnor near the train station. In 1877 land was purchased for a new mission and St. Martinís cornerstone was laid in 1880. Construction on the beautiful building was completed in 1888.

St. Martinís Reaches Out
In 1890 St. Martinís founded Ithan Chapel now Christ Church and located on Conestoga Road. The two congregations continued a close mission relationship until 1956 when Christ Church became an independent parish.

Growth and Expansion
St. Martinís grew rapidly as the western suburbs of Philadelphia were developed. The church was expanded twice and the Fox House next door provided room for youth activities. In 1959 the parish purchased the Bolingbroke Mansion and the Carriage House. Fox House was sold and Bolingbroke was renovated to provide for meetings and educational space.

Changes bring Challenges
The decades of the 1970ís and 1980ís brought many changes to the nation and to the liturgy and worship of the Episcopal Church. Facing a new Prayer Book and women priests and bishops, many churches experienced declining membership and an aging population. Wise and compassionate leadership guided St. Martinís through those years. New programs providing for outreach and fellowship kept the parish spirit alive.

Into a New Century
In 2010 the congregation adopted a Strategic Plan that is moving us into a faithful and responsible future of growth, service and mission. While challenges surely remain, the commitment of the parish family is strong. St. Martinís invites you to join us as we listen to God and to each other. We are confident that our historic calling to worship Christ, to love one another and to serve our neighbors near and far is finding new expression in our day and time.