May the Peace of Christ be always with you.
50TH ANNIVERSARY BOOKLET

Recollections from
Seymour Flinn

When I first came to St. David’s in June of 1954, it was a cornfield over which the Committee on Missions of the diocese had done some dreaming. Actually, they had drawn up some tentative building plans for as plain a structure as possible. These plans were quickly firmed up, ground was broken in a simple ceremony, and construction began.

I took up residence in a ground floor apartment of an old
house at the corner of Marsh and Grubb Roads and started calling door to door. New houses were going up at the rate of about 500 a year within a mile or two of the church site, and I tried to reach every new home north of Silverside Road the week people moved in. In addition, area parishes, as well as downtown churches, gave me cards with the names and addresses of all their parishioners living in what was to be the St. David’s area. I contacted as many as I could to see if they were interested.

By mid-September there were about forty to fifty people who began meeting in homes - four groups of about ten persons each. Our discussion focused on “What does it mean to be a church?” and then on “What should this new church be like?” These discussions were a disaster. Everybody shared their ignorances and prejudices, and I, having just been hatched from seminary were non-directive counseling was all the rage, was useless at leading things forward or clarifying issues. Nevertheless, these groups became the foundation of St. David’s. In them people got to know one another in a very real way. By the time the building was completed in November, we already had a congregation. A governing board, church school teachers, lay readers and organists emerged from the early nucleus.

The diocesan Committee on Missions had to come up with a name for the new mission. It was somehow felt that the name should be one that no other church in the diocese had. For the life of me I cannot remember why St. David’s was chosen. How could we incorporate the name into the decor of the building? It was discovered that the symbol of St. David was a leek, which is a vegetable dearly beloved in Wales, of which David is patron saint. Mrs. Ellason Downs (Molly) of the Mission Committee was “commissioned” to produce an art form with leeks beautifully painted on gold foil Christmas paper. These were set in frames in two panels that set off the altar area. The panels were dark blue and the rest of the wall was dark green. I always thought the color combination was smashing. The green later determined the color of the Junior Choir vestments. At the next diocesan Choir Festival, there wasn’t a choir that could match the weird green cassocks of the leeky kids of St. David’s.

Ah, what lovely days they were out there on Grubb (such an unmellifluous name) Road. I could go on to relate many other marvels of those first five years, but...let me sign off by saying how grand it will be to see you in October - an unbelievable 25 years since I first looked at that cornfield or met any of the wonderful people who became the founding saints of St. David’s.


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2320 Grubb Road, Wilmington, DE 19810 -- Call (302) 475-4688 or FAX (302) 529-1135.
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