A History of Welcome and Service

Founded in Essex Fells in 1893 to serve the wider community of West Essex, St. Peter’s has always been a destination church, drawing people from the Caldwells, Verona, Cedar Grove, West Orange, Wayne, Livingston, and beyond.

While rooted in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition, the parish has always welcomed people from many denominations. Our pastoral staff has an ecumenical make-up. We welcome families, singles, LGBT couples, spiritual seekers and people of all races.

As Anglicans, we prize inquiring minds and spiritual seeking. We seek to balance scripture and reason, tradition and innovation. Our worship is a modern expression of ancient tradition, grounded in Word and Sacrament.

Our ministry to families with children features a “Wee Believers” service for toddlers, a large and vibrant Sunday school, as well as youth programs for teens in Junior and Senior High School. Both adult and children’s choirs enhance our worship. Special concerts welcome the wider community. Forums and workshops on life-oriented topics apply faith to today’s world.

From the first services in the old Essex Fells train station in 1893, to the building of the simple English-style church–which now serves as a Chapel–to the large Gothic-style church of 1956, St. Peter’s has seen itself as a community church.

We put our faith into action to support Habitat for Humanity builds, Christine’s Kitchen for the homeless, and the North Porch ministry to women and infants. Our in-reach to the parish includes Angel Food meals to those in times of grief or sickness, and an extensive lay Pastoral Ministry to take Communion to the hospitalized, sick and shut-in. Our facilities house not only worship services and youth activities, but our Nursery School, OpShop, and groups like AA. Our annual Street Fair welcomes hundreds to our grounds for relaxing, tech-free, old-fashioned community fun!