Grace Church is a parish of the Reformed Episcopal Church in the Diocese of the Northeast Mid-Atlantic. Our membership in the R.E.C. also affiliates us with the Anglican Church in North America. We are disciples of Jesus Christ within the Anglican tradition. Our worship is traditional and liturgical, our preaching is biblical, and our congregation is a diverse community united by a common creed.
Established in 1895, many of the early members immigrated from the Church of Ireland. The building was constructed in 1897. Since then, Grace has had seven rectors and additions to the building. Since the 1960’s, Grace has been a strong supported of foreign missions. This continues to be true, but large part of Grace’s emphasis in ministry has transitioned to immigrants, as well as to the socially and economically disadvantaged in our communities. In 2005, Grace cultivated meaningful relationships within the Liberian immigrants of our community. Today, more than half of our congregation are West African immigrants or the descendants of West African immigrants. The remaining constituency are mostly American-born Caucasians. As a result, Grace is on the front lines of multi-cultural ministry and interracial community development.
During the 1980’s the parish was enduring a steady decline. Numbers were down, Grace struggled to engage the changing Collingdale community, and there were serious concerns about the future of the church. The past 15 years have seen steady growth, however, and the congregation has been revitalized–largely through the commitments of our immigrant parishioners. As a result, Sunday School and Youth Group have been reconstituted through the influx of new families.
A central part of our outreach and local mission is in the realm of education. Christ Academy is a classical Christian school that came to Grace in 2004 from Christ Memorial Church in Philadelphia. It has provided low-cost, quality education for our parishioners and the surrounding community. It provides a safe, Christian, and academically rigorous alternative to the low-performing public schools in our area.
Due to our local proximity to the Reformed Episcopal Seminary, we often work with seminarians as interns. This relationship allows seminarians preparation for ministry in a culturally diverse setting, while providing Grace with additional administrative and ministry support.