OUR CURRENT MISSION
Our Mission is to position St. Peter’s as a neighborhood church in Chelsea with balance between religious services, a neighborhood center for ideas and programs, and living out our wider mission to the world through social action.
As part of our mission to our neighbors, we provide space to neighborhood organizations, and St. Peter's is home to many neighborhood and community organizations. If your organization is interested in a short or long-term rental, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is a partial list of organizations that call St. Peter's home:
• St. Peter’s Food Pantry (Rectory): Non-perishable food items are brought to the Rectory by the Food bank for NYC, corporations and individuals, which are then repackaged by Volunteers and given to anyone who asks during the Food Pantry’s hours of operation. We distribute over 22,000
bags of groceries a year to the hungry in our neighborhood.
• AA and NA 12-step groups (Rectory) the Chelsea Mornings group (AA) and the Solutions Group (NA) meet in the Rectory. Chelsea Mornings just celebrated their first anniversary of meeting six mornings a week in the Rectory and the Solutions Group meets once a week in the Rectory.
• Girls Scouts of America (Rectory) Two Girl Scout Troops have used the Rectory as their meeting space for several years.
• Pictorial Photographers of America (Rectory) has met in the Rectory for years. They are the oldest photographic club in the United States.
• Chelsea for Peace (Rectory) meets once a month in the Rectory as well.
• Chelsea Community Church (Church & Rectory) has rented space at St. peter’s Church for over 40 years. Their congregation was founded in order to support St. Peter’s; they hold their services in the Church and their meetings and Coffee Hour in the Rectory.
• 10th Precinct, NYPD uses the Church for Mass on St. Michael’s Day. St. Michael is the patron Saint of the Police and we will host current and retired officers of the 10th Precinct on September 29 and bless them for their work.
• Numerous musicians, including the Chelsea Opera, use the church for their concerts and performances.
• We rent the Church and Rectory to film and television companies for holding.
• The Atlantic Theatre Company has a 30 year lease with St. Peter’s to lease the former Parish Hall. Through their programs and productions, people from across New York City are drawn to our neighborhood.
OUR ONGOING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Composting for Hudson River Park: We have a five gallon composting bucket in the rectory kitchen that is waiting to be filled. The bucket will be brought to Chelsea Waterside Park for emptying into the Park's brown composting bins: Our food scraps will be used to make healthy compost that then enriches plant beds and trees to help the Park flourish. The following can be composted - and are welcome at St. Peter's!
We have always engaged in outreach efforts. During the first half of the 19th century, St. Peter’s clergy was busy attending to the needs of those affected by the cholera and yellow fever outbreaks, as well as the arrival of thousands of immigrants fleeing unfavorable conditions in Europe.
In the late 19th century, St. Peter’s organizations, run mostly by women, provided employment to needy women, ran an industrial school for boys, and provided many other programs and services vital to the community. At the beginning of the 20th century, when other churches were following the affluent uptown, St. Peter’s stayed to serve the needs of the area.
In April 1912, on the Sunday following its sinking, the RMS Titanic’s rescued survivors who were brought to New York City’s Hudson River piers, and seamen from ships all along the riverfront’s docks, attended a special mass hosted for them by St. Peter’s in memoriam to passengers and crew lost.
The post-WWII era saw St. Peter’s responding to the problems of crime and delinquency in overcrowded, gang-ridden Chelsea with an abundance of teen activities, church youth programs and community social services. Throughout the 1960s, we housed and hosted many of the city’s most active peace, arts, civil rights and unionizing organizations, including the national offices of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Black Women’s Liberation. Our outreach in the late 20th century focused on pastoral care to a growing number of New Yorkers with AIDS and their families.
The tragedies of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy at the turn of the 21st century rallied the Chelsea community and St. Peter’s congregation did its part towards ministry and fundraising for victims and first responders.
We also host numerous neighborhood groups including a local Girl Scouts troop, Pictorial Photographers of America, and Chelsea for Peace.
We are very proud of the Music In Chelsea community organization concert series that uses the church and dedicates ticket proceeds directly to support the Food Panty. It features excellent performances by soloists, chamber musicians, ensembles, and orchestras. Tickets are modestly priced at $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.
St. Peter’s church building is known in the arts community for its excellent acoustics, making it a popular venue for hosting live music, recording sessions and readings. Performers such as Joni Mitchell, Pete Seeger, Miles Davis, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Persuasions, Philip Glass, Tony Randall, Ethan Hawke, Stephen Collins, Blair Brown, Brian Murray, Peter Quinn, Tokyo String Quartet, University College Dublin Choral Scholars and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center have appeared here.