St. George's

St. George’s Episcopal Church has played an active role in the community for nearly 300 years.

St. George’s Episcopal Church, where George Washington’s family and friends once worshiped, will kick off a yearlong celebration of its 300th anniversary April 25, 2020.

Planned events include an exhibit at the Fredericksburg Area Museum tracing the intertwined histories of Fredericksburg and St. George’s from the colonial period to modern times; a homecoming celebration to welcome back generations of parishioners; a gala luncheon and art sale at Belmont Estate; and a celebration of St. George’s Grace in Action community outreach programs.

There will also be Fifth Sunday programming featuring historic music and worship services; a concert series highlighting church music through the centuries; a 5K and fun run; a golf tournament; and a speaker series. Announcements about these events will be available on StGeorgesEpiscopal.net as the church nears its milestone celebration.

The present St. George’s Church at 905 Princess Anne St. was designed and built by Robert Cary Long and H.R. Reynold of Baltimore in 1849, and is an example of the Romanesque Revival style of architecture popular in the mid-19th century. It is the church’s third building on that site. The first was a wooden structure built in the 1730s. A second, a more substantial brick building, was erected in 1815.

St. George’s Church has been an active force in the community throughout its history. It was responsible by law for the welfare of orphans, widows, the sick and the needy in the community when Virginia was a British colony. After the American Revolution, it established and ran male and female charity schools from 1795 to 1802. It also operated Sunday schools for enslaved children prior to the Civil War. The church held revival meetings during that war, and served as a Civil War hospital in 1864.

Today, St. George’s continues its commitment to the community by supporting such organizations as the Fredericksburg Senior Citizens, Rappahannock Big Brothers/Sisters, the Interfaith Council, Hospice, the Homeless Shelter and Hope House. It also operates The Table, a market-style food pantry that operates out of Sydnor Hall.

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Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407 cjett@freelancestar.com

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