History of Saint Luke’s Parish
The cornerstone of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church was laid on August 11, 1856, on a 100 by 150 foot plot donated to the parish by Benjamin Fitch. Mr. Fitch gave this land to Saint Luke’s so his mother, Charlotte, could attend worship services in her home town.
In the mid-19th century, Darien boasted 1,705 residents (1860 census). As the town grew beyond its small farming, fishing, and commercial roots, so did Saint Luke’s. The original church was wood frame. The stone edifice that serves the parish today was built alongside it in 1883. It’s been expanded and modified several times since.
Saint Luke’s dynamic character began to take shape in the 1950’s reflecting the dramatic growth of the American suburb. The Education Building was added to provide Church School space for the many new families.
In 1966, we added a Parish School for preschoolers which nurtures our youngest to love and respect all.
The parish was then, and is now, committed to faith-in-action ministries. In 1968, a small group of volunteers started Person-to-Person, providing food and clothing out of a closet in the parish offices. Today, this wholly owned subsidiary of the parish continues as an on-site social service agency supporting the regions needy with food, clothing, furniture, counseling and scholarship aid. The current budget is over $13 million, operating in 7 communities with both professional and volunteer staff.
Over time, our campus has grown to 7 acres. It includes the church, a chapel, the Educational Building, administrative offices, Person-to-Person headquarters, a Youth and Community Center, clergy residences and the rectory.
In 2003, the Reverend David Anderson became Saint Luke’s 11th Rector in our 157 year history. To broaden our traditional worship, the parish created a “Come As You Are” service in 2005 to provide a more contemporary option. It continues to grow offering alternative liturgy and a live instrumental ensemble.
Several years ago, we began a free weekly Community Supper, open to all parishioners and neighbors from surrounding communities who might need a meal and, more importantly, connection to those they may not get to know otherwise. Creating community at Saint Luke’s is a constantly evolving ministry.