MISSION AND VISION
We are a strong unified parish committed to the Christian faith as expressed in the Anglican tradition, one that continues to be inclusive and consistent with our mission statement: “To worship and grow as one, united in Christ, to serve all.”
GEOGRAPHIC AREA AND COMMUNITY
Trinity-St. John’s Church is physically located in the suburban residential district of Hewlett. It is located in an excellent school district directly across from the Hewlett-Woodmere public library.
The Church and graveyard are listed as historical landmarks and are within easy access to the Long Island Railroad and local buses. We are about 45 minutes away from midtown Manhattan and within minutes of a number of renowned colleges and universities.
Within minutes there are miles of white sandy beaches, an extensive park system, local museums and diverse cultural affairs both in our county and within easy reach of New York City. There are also many fine restaurants in the area.
The Church of England established and supported some churches in the colonies, St. George Church, Hempstead being among them. The people of Rockaway, which is what our whole area was called in the colonial days, had to travel all the way to Hempstead to worship. Many people made this long journey to be communicants of St. George’s, but they longed for a place to worship nearer home. In 1817, knowing of their need, the Governor of New York gave the community an old block house for this purpose. The rectors of St. George’s and Grace Church in Jamaica conducted monthly services in the afternoon in this building when they were finished with their labors in their own parishes.
In 1835, perceiving their interest, St. George’s founded a mission in the Rockaways. A chapel was built with donations of land, materials and money from local families. It was completed and dedicated in 1836 and was given the name Trinity Chapel, Rockaway. Eight years later, upon petition from a committee from Trinity Chapel, St. George’s transferred the trusteeship of the chapel to the newly formed Parish of Trinity Church, Rockaway. A vestry was elected, a minister was called and at last the people had a church in their own community. For the next 34 years this parish prospered. The congregations outgrew the old chapel and in 1877 the present building was erected. This is still the church (with many refinements over the years) wherein we worship. The old chapel is now the center of the parish hall.
It is interesting to note that in 1858 history repeated itself when the people who lived further west asked Trinity Church to establish a chapel for them. It was built on Mott Street and was called Trinity Chapel. Like its mother church it too prospered, and became a church in 1881 taking the name St. John’s Church, Far Rockaway.
In later years, as the character of these communities changed, it became evident that it would be prudent to merge these two churches. In March 1973, Trinity-St. John’s Church was formed. The Church building in Rockaway was sold and the combined congregations of more than 300 families nor worship in this parish. Since the merger of the churches we have had one rector, in addition to several curates and/or associates.
We are multi-generational and multi-racial parish representing a wide range of social and economic backgrounds. Although many members of our congregation come from the area where the parish is located, many parishioners live in surrounding communities. Our parish is ethnically diverse drawing its membership from Anglican communions throughout the world.
Our worship is Eucharistically centered, using Rite I at the 8:00 Am service and Rite II at the 10:30 AM service. We are basically a traditional church but open to innovation. We are welcoming, inclusive parish who embrace a whole range of faith and liturgical backgrounds. In the past we have offered evening prayer, evensong, beach Eucharist, foot washing on Maundy Thursday and other occasional services of the church. We have a long-standing tradition of a 3-hour ecumenical service on Good Friday.
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS
We have well maintained historic buildings. The wooden church was built in Semi Gothic style and seats approximately 300 parishioners. It has wonderful traditional historic stained glass windows and a magnificent rose window. The freestanding altar, a handsome oak piece, was given by the Sunday school on the dedication of the new church in 1878. The choir stalls are on either side of the chancel as are the organ and piano. We have recently air-conditioned the church for the comfort of the congregation and also to help maintain the building and its furnishings.
Adjacent to the chancel is an ample sacristy, where many of the items for services are stored. We have an extensive array of vestments, hangings and linens, as well as a fine selection of silver and brass. Adjacent to the sacristy is a spacious choir room with a rehearsal piano and numerous closets for music and vestment storage.
Our Skinner organ was recently refurbished.
We have a beautifully renovated 13 room Victorian rectory, with a large backyard and a garage (which was originally the rector’s carriage house and stable).
Our parish house is connected to the Church by a semi-enclosed cloister. The parish house building, whose center section is the original chapel, consists of a hall with a small stage, a kitchen and Sunday School rooms. The rector’s office and other administrative offices are also located in the parish hall building.