ST. MARY'S CHURCH
Bedford, New York
Community, Faith, Diversity
St. Mary’s Church was built atop a high point of granite in 1853 by farmers who tilled the land known as the Peaceable Kingdom. Back then the Church afforded commanding views as far away as Long Island Sound. But the difficult, rocky soil eventually made farming unprofitable and the chestnuts, maples and hemlocks took root again.
Today, St. Mary's stands, resplendent in its simplicity, as a place where friends and neighbors of many faiths gather for evening services. Each service is a unique experience, featuring religious and civic speakers of diverse backgrounds, music, and quiet reflection in a historic setting surrounded by woods and rural roads that remain virtually unchanged in nearly 170 years.
The rector of St. Matthew’s continues as the rector, although St. Mary's has its own Vestry and is maintained by volunteers. St. Mary's Church shares an enduring relationship of fellowship and community with Antioch Baptist Church in Bedford Hills. Every October, Antioch hosts a joint service of the three congregations at Antioch's historic church.
Services are held at St. Mary’s during the fall and spring on select Sundays at 5:30 p.m., and on Thanksgiving Eve and December 23rd for Christmas. Services are led by clergy, lay readers and parishioners of St. Matthew’s and Antioch Baptist Church, with diverse civic and religious leaders as guest speakers at each service.
Many parishioners have chosen to be married, or have their children baptized, at St. Mary's Church in this rural corner of Bedford known as the Peaceable Kingdom.
HISTORIC WINDOW RESTORATION
In Spring 2022, St. Mary's Church will embark on the restoration of our six magnificent double-hung wood windows. The 20-over-20 windows, original to the 1852 structure, are in deteriorated condition. Restoration work will entail removal of two pair of sash at a time to replace damaged muntins and glazing details, install period-correct historic glass where missing; and replace failing, inappropriate hardware. All components will be primed and painted. In addition, the original exterior louvered wood shutters will be restored and painted.
Beginning in October 2020, the St. Mary’s Church bell rings daily at 12 noon and 6 pm in loving memory of our neighbor Elizabeth Long Lang. We hope this observance will serve as a reminder to pause and reﬂect on the Peaceable Kingdom’s abiding sense of community.
Installation of an automated bell ringing system was made possible by generous support from the Vestry, neighbors and friends.
Stacy Albanese, Senior Warden
Piers MacDonald, Junior Warden
Mary E. Farley
Christine P. Foster
William G. Foulke, Jr.
Andre A. Hunter
Rector: The Reverend John Zahl