Children and Parents
Prayer and Worship
Clergy and Staff
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475-4688 (Voice) or (302)529-1135 (FAX)
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2320 Grubb Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19810
Welcome to the Episcopal Church
|| 50TH ANNIVERSARY BOOKLET
Recollections of Parishioners:
The Second 25 Years
“When the new church was built, my husband,
John B. Reynolds was the liaison between St.
David’s and Haddock Construction Co.
John was Executive Vice President of that company
and very much a part of St. David’s,
so he was totally devoted to building a fine
edifice and getting the best church architect
of the time to design the beautiful building.
John and Bob Albers worked together to do this.
A day didn’t go by, through any kind
of weather, that John didn’t check on
the building progress. Work was completed on
schedule, to the delight of everyone. John
was involved in placing the bell along with
Frank Starr and Bob. I believe there is a picture
of him, complete with fedora and overcoat on
a ladder looking up at the bell while Frank
was on the steeple guiding the cherry picker!
. . . John
loved St. David’s. He was Junior Warden
and on the Vestry several times, lay reader, on search
committees, in the choir and naturally on the “buildings
and grounds”. Unfortunately, too soon, illness
took him and now John’s
ashes are buried in our Memorial Garden.”
"When I asked was asked to write up
something for the 50th Anniversary of St.
David's, my mind went blank! What people, events
and time period would I include? More importantly,
which could I remember!! That is sort of an
inside joke with my family. My memory (or lack
thereof) is always a source of humor at home.
But when I really started to think about my
life at St. David's, I realized I had 30+ years
. . . My introduction
to St. David’s was about 32
years ago. Fr. Joslin baptized me in May of 1972
when I was about three months old. I do not remember
it, but it was the beginning of a long relationship
with St. David’s. When the time for kindergarten
came around, I was fortunate to be a student of the
St. David’s Episcopal Day School. At that
time, Phyllis Conner was the director. I still
have friends today that were part of that kindergarten
. . . We had several
rectors at St. David’s from
the time I was baptized through my teenage years.
I believe it was four; chronologically it was Frs.
Joslin, Tontonoz, Harris and Jaynes. Like most children
growing up at St. David’s, I was involved in
all of the usual pursuits; Sunday and Vacation Bible
school, youth group, Christmas pageants and Confirmation
classes. My Confirmation class was taught by none
other than … my Mom! Although it is not called
Confirmation class anymore, she still teaches the
equivalent class today. Some of the most memorable,
enjoyable and pride filled times during these years
came from serving as an acolyte and crucifer. Not
hard to understand since we were under the tutelage
of Wray Britton. Once again, I still have friends
that I made at St. David’s during this time.
. . . Present day life
at St. David’s has been no
less eventful then all of the years leading up to
now. Most fresh in my mind is my time
spent on Vestry and as Senior Warden, a service
made that much more interesting because the rector
was on sabbatical and a brand new associate rector,
Mary Lindquist, had just started at St. David’s.
I truly believe that serving on the Vestry is an
opportunity that everyone should consider. It gives
you a totally different way to look at St. David’s.
. . . It really is amazing when I sit back and think about
how much St. David’s has been a part of my
life and me for the past 32 years. Hopefully, I will
be able to say the same thing in another 32 years.
A lot has changed at St. David’s over the past
50 years. In my time we have had six different rectors
and one associate priest. There have been many families
and friends that have come and gone, and are still
here. But, for me, it has always been the spirituality
and sense of community/family that has made St. David’s
my home for the last 30 out of its 50 years.”
“When Mike and I first attended a service
at St. David’s, Pat Van Catledge -- with
shoes -- was one of the first people we met.
She greeted us at the Peace, and then escorted
us, almost with force, to coffee hour. That
was my first experience of finding out that
it’s hard to say “no” to
Pat! It was many years later that Pat started
coming to church barefoot. For those who
don’t know, she decided to go barefoot
after the war in Afghanistan started. She
wanted to remind all of us on a weekly basis
that there are children around the world
who don’t have shoes or food.
. . . Since that day, I’ve volunteered for the “walk
to Easter” which was Pat’s brainchild.
From small beginnings, it has become a huge outreach
event, attracting many from the community. In fact, “Walk
to Easter” has spawned in many parts of the
U.S., to wherever St. David’s parishioners
have moved. Pat’s love of God and children
has always been evident.
. . . Other than Pat
coercing us into coffee hour, there were at least
two other reasons that Mike and I stayed at St. David’s.
One was the printed booklet that was in use at the
time and is now used only during Lent. Mike is a
former Catholic and juggling a program, inserts,
a prayer book and two hymnals was too much to manage.
Having a printed service was comfortable.
. . . Another big reason
we stayed is that we attended the 8:00 a.m. service
one Sunday. We liked the shortness of the service,
and afterwards, we were invited by several people – Jean
and George Colbert, Herb and Sara Espy, and Dorothy
and Ken Marengo – to join the “Breakfast
Group”. We found the company gracious, interesting
and friendly, and we looked forward to the Sunday
breakfasts. Eventually Mike and I had a baby and
continued to attend the 8:00 o’clock service.
On at least one occasion, our son cried during the
service and Dorothy Marengo assured me afterward
that ‘We’d rather hear a crying baby
than someone snoring.’
. . . Mike and I became
incorporated in the congregation over the years,
working as ushers, chalice bearers, and nursery and
Chapel assistants. I became a regular member of the
Women’s group that was run by
Linda Owens and Barbara Chung. There were many Thursday
evenings that I felt rejuvenated, thanks to the great
leadership and the camaraderie. We rejoiced, commiserated
and supported each other, while studying about the
women of the Bible. I enjoyed many happy evenings
and I still miss that group.
. . . Mike, Kevin and I have
many friends at St. David’s
and we hope for a bright future with a congregation
intent on rejoicing in the Lord.
“We began attending St. David’s
about 1986. At that time Ron Jaynes was the
pastor. The service at that time was a bit
more high church. He loved the incense pot!
We should have kept an albuterol inhaler in
the robing room as sometime members of the
congregation would begin to wheeze due to the
incense. We also had more retreats at that
time. During one, Father Ron, Harry Crawford
and I traveled together to Rehoboth together.
We sang gospel hymns along with my tape of
Tennessee Ernie all the way to Rehoboth.
. . . The
Mickles, as well as many others, made us feel
most welcome. The Mickles' children were
about the same age as our children as were
those of the Harvey, Francis and
the Bacon families. My children made us sit
in the front row so that they could see everything.
My son loved to sing, he loved to sing loudly
here or so it seemed. I was extremely proud
when he became an acolyte. I liked the ceremony
and liturgy especially on holidays. This was
something I had not experienced as a Methodist.
. . . My
wife and I liked belonging to a smaller congregation
and the camaraderie it engendered. The rotating
suppers were a great way of getting to know
everyone. The Cursillo weekend I attended
was memorable. We liked the variety of worship
experiences: chancel plays, liturgical dance,
guest musicians, etc. When it came to Chancel
plays and other special productions there was
of course Pat Van Catledge. There was a tap
on the shoulder and the statement “you
would like to be an angel wouldn’t you?” I
can picture her, when she would approach the
children and tell them what great lambs or
shepherds they would make. I remember Fred
Van Catledge’s great bass voice, as well
as the friendship we shared.
. . . Over the years
I have enjoyed being in the choir with four
different directors each with unique characteristics
that have made singing a pleasure. We had a
men’s group that met on Monday evenings
where we discussed life in general. The counsel
of Fred Van Catledge, Dick Mickles, ______
helped me through many difficult times. As
my immediate family is in Kentucky, St. David’s
has been a second home and family for me.”
Not long after we started attending
St. David’s regularly, the “Round
Robin Dinners” were established. The
first time they were offered, we dutifully
signed up thinking it would be a good way to
meet some of our fellow parishioners. Being
new to the area and not having a lot of sitters
at our disposal, we signed up with one caveat – our
kids needed to be able to participate. The
organizers of these dinners complied with our
request and found parishioners who were gracious
enough to put up with the whole Cook clan.
. . . This sequence of three dinners turned out to be more
fun than we had ever expected from a bunch of “stuffy
church folk”. We were placed into a group with
the Royals, Rhodundas (Sr.) and Hughes. (That should
tell you something right there.) These dinners were
a BLAST! Both the Royals and the Rhodundas were fantastic
hosts. Lynn had a whole Mardi Gras theme and provided
a sitter in the basement complete with crafts and
a special kid-menu. Mary had a basement that was
a kid’s dream and pulled out all the stops
with her finest china. We really got to know these
three couples and feel that these dinners allowed
us to forge friendships that might not otherwise
. . . The second time
the dinners were offered, we thought we’d try
it again since the first set was so successful. We
signed up for the Tuesday sequence because of Jeff’s
work schedule. We ditched the kids, too. This time
our group consisted of Mary Lindquist and Kurt Johnston,
the Meffins and Jane Huntington. This group seemed
a little more intimidating than the last but we gave
it a shot. We are so glad we did. We definitely would
never have met Jane or the Meffins had it not been
for these dinners. As it turned out, this group was
even livelier than the last (if that’s
possible). Jane and Ken had us falling off our chairs
laughing so hard at the stories they told. Kurt kept
us entertained with his colorful past. Mary and Vivian
played the perfect “straight man” to
their spouses’ antics.
. . . I think that these two experiences illustrate what
it is that makes St. David’s such a great place.
as a parish is warm, welcoming, accommodating and
FUN because the people themselves are warm, welcoming,
accommodating and FUN!
----Jeff and Deana Cook
“The Conner Family started going to
St. David’s in 1959 after Harry Mayfield
sought us out in Arden to invite us to church!
We are sure that one of the numerous Arden
parishioners had suggested Harry give us a
. . . Both of us, from Midwestern protestant church backgrounds,
were interested in experimenting in a different theological
approach. As a result, Phyllis and I have been members
of St. David’s for 45 years!
. . . At that time, there was only the parish hall, memorial
room, offices and classrooms. Folding chairs had
to be taken up and put back after any group activity.
During that period the various religious symbols
on the parish hall were painted by Joyce Holbrook
to support an educational program.
. . . In the early 1970s,
as the main sanctuary was being built, St. David’s
first photo directory shows 180 adults and 340 children
attending. In that period of time, I referred to
Brandywine Hundred as “Fertility Valley”.
. . . John Reynolds, Joan’s husband, was a vice-president
of Haddock Construction Co., and was the construction
manager for the building of the church. Bob Albers
headed up the building committee. To this day Bob
has continued working with contractors as evidenced
by his leadership in our most recent expansion.
. . . Ah, those memories:
Vestry retreats at Memorial House where we rejoiced
with studies and solving parish problems (including
a stop at Sambo’s for
crabs!), hayrides, square dances, couples clubs,
dinner groups, nights at the Arden Dinner Theater,
those marvelous Christmas dances held at the Arden
Gild Hall, Pancake Suppers (especially the first
one when we blew all of the electric fuses with our
little grills!), the Charismatic Mission weekend
visit from the group from Virginia, various search
committee groups as we sought new ministers, Craft
Fairs, Phyl’s 10 year “love
director of the day school, work days when we sweated
and ate tasty hot dogs, the Greening of the Church
for the holidays, the Blessing of the Animals, Father
Ed’s retirement when the parish “gave” him
our son’s old truck, etc.
. . . I served for years as chair of the diocesan insurance
committee before Jack McClellan assumed that role.
Many other parishioners have served various diocesan
jobs with excellence.
. . . Looking back, one of the fundamental elements of
the success of St. David’s has been unselfish
contributions of so many parishioners. What a wonderful
experience it has been to be a part of 45 years of
growth, changes, coming and goings, friendships and
“I first attended St. David’s
in 1971 ... I think! With two small boys and
a husband who traveled a lot, I decided to
find a church that was closer to home. I had
gone past St. David’s while the new sanctuary
was being built and decided to attend a service
to see if I would like their liturgy and find
out what it looked like inside. Even more important
though was to see if the congregation be welcoming.
I did like the service and I did like that
interior of the nave and I was warmly welcomed.
I went back and soon decided this would be
a good place for the boys and me.
. . . What do I
remember of those early days? Folding chairs
... lots of them! We were the church of folding
chairs! They are still around in the Parish
Hall. And people ... Bergmans, Brintons, Bunns,
Colberts, Connors, Hinkles, Moores, Reeses,
Thomases (Kirby and Peg), and so
many more whose names just won’t
come to mind even though I want them to. I
sent my boys to their Sunday school classes,
cooked with them in the kitchen, went to Women’s
Luncheons, and began teaching Sunday School
and Confirmation classes after Wray Brinton
and Bart Hinkle retired. They were a very hard
act to follow!
. . . What images
come to mind? My sons Rob and Matt in the Christmas
pageant; Rob as Joseph and Matt as a shepherd,
Pete being baptized by Dave Joslin, all of
them being acolytes, Matt giving the sermon
on Youth Sunday, a sleepover in the Parish
Hall watching scary movies hosted by Larry
Records, so many confirmations ... all the
Rhodundas, my own boys, Linda Bradford’s
kids, the Dowdy girls, the Ericson girls, the
Tontonoz boys, the Van Catledge kids, Emily
daughter Barbara. These are just a few of the
kids I had in classes over the years. It was
a wonderful experience getting to know them
and learning more about my faith every time
I taught a new class.
. . . Music
is also such a big part of my life at St. David’s.
Singing on Wednesday mornings with 5 or 10
of us ... Father David Tontonoz playing the
guitar, watching tiny Ventie Williams emerge
from behind the organ, Wilson Sommers and the
Mass for the Homeless, Steve’s wonderful
music which we get to sing at Advent and Lent,
those great gospel songs and his knowledge
of sacred music which is so complete that he
can tie lessons and sermons together every
week with our music.
. . . Another
image that stays in my mind was the first time
I was elected to vestry. My experiences of
vestries up to that time were that men were
usually elected and that it was reserved for
Church leaders. I didn’t consider myself
a Church leader. I just taught Sunday School.
But I remember that day so clearly. I can see
myself kneeling at the altar and looking at
everyone there (which you can do at St. David’s).
I knew that this was family and it didn’t
matter whether I was elected or not ... I belonged
here. But I was elected and became part of
the group that helped to shape the parish and
. . . Of
all the experiences on that vestry, I remember
best a retreat at Rehoboth Beach. The retreat
was a time of renewal. We had a couple with
us from St. Paul’s in Darien,
Connecticut, who did Bible study with us. It
was a wonderful time of sharing and growing.
We went down to the beach after sunset to look
at the water and see if we could see the lights
of Cape May. While we were there, we decided
to celebrate our Eucharist the next morning
on the beach. And so we all went down to the
beach early the next day carrying a table from
the parlor in Memorial House and some bread
from the kitchen and we made our Eucharist
on the beach. Whenever we sing “Let Us
Break Bread Together” I
can see and feel us standing on that beach
on a cloudy May Sunday morning. We weren’t
in our sanctuary but we were St. David’s,
. . . Those are
some old memories. A newer one is the lovely
spring day when Gary and I met before dawn
to travel to NYC and General Seminary. We walked
down the busy streets of the west side of New
York into the area known as Chelsea. We entered
a late 20th century building off a busy NY
street and went out a rear door into a spot
that was closed off from the hustle and bustle
of the city. There were trees, spring bulbs,
a mixture of buildings including a wonderful
old Gothic style chapel. We took part in the
noon Eucharist in the Chapel and looked around
wondering who it was we were to meet. We did
spot someone at the back of the Chapel, but
she left early. Could that be this Mary Lindquist
we were to interview? Were we surprised, when
we got to the interview room, she was already
there and it was Mary Lindquist. We interviewed
three people that day. We decided to invite
Mary and one other candidate to visit St. David’s.
At that point, we favored the other candidate
but as they say ... there was something about
Mary. We often thought about that day and how
she needed to be prepared for that interview
and so got there early, giving herself the
time and quiet to be ready. It was something
which we got to know well about Mary when she
came to be part of us. In that first interview,
it also impressed us that she listened to our
questions and gave something of herself in
her answers. It was that more than anything
that convinced us she would be ideal for St.
. . . When I go
to St. David’s Sunday mornings,
all of these memories and experiences are part
of each Eucharist. Baptisms, confirmations,
weddings, funerals ... the whole celebration
of LIFE is part of every Sunday. All the memories
and people who have partaken at the Table are
still there for me.
Memories of our 45years of association with
. . . The Britton
family arrived in Wilmington in 1958 with three
children, Wray Jr , Barbara, & Cathy
(age 4 months), We found a small Episcopal
Church, St David’s, in a “corn
field” on Grubb Rd. There was a small
white brick building (our current office & memorial
room wing). The Nave area was filled with about
100 folding metal chairs -- very noisy! This
space was also filled with a large number of
very friendly, welcoming worshipers. Services
were conducted by Seymore Flinn, later followed
by Harry Mayfield.
. . . We
left St David’s and Wilmington
in 1961 for three winters in Buffalo, returning
to Wilmington and St
David’s in 1964. The family had grown to six,
Mark had been added in Buffalo. Wow!!! What a change
we found at St David’s. Tremendous growth in
all areas -- family units (close to 200), great outreach
programs, a new Parish Hall which was now our worship
space with 300 folding metal chairs, the long hallway
and four classrooms. Soon there was three services
on Sunday, two sessions of “Sunday school” each
Sunday, necessary because we had so many young people.
The Parish Hall was not just our worship space on
Sunday, but was a “Fun Space” many times
during the year -- dinners, dances, neighborhood
and political meetings. Did you know our classroom
and hall were used by Holy Child R.C. Parish for
over a year for their “confirmation” classes
while waiting for their new building on Naamans Rd?
. . . We have to remember
a highlight of our time here. The arrival of David & Kathy
Joslin & their
children, followed by the construction of our new
Nave . Twelve years in the Parish Hall and 300 metal
folding chairs was enough. We dedicated this beautiful
structure to the Glory of GOD and to the service
of HIS people in 1970. We still had the folding
chairs however, for about six months.
. . . We think one of
the things we remember most about our time at St
David’s has been the tremendous growth, not
in numbers, but the vibrant congregation , its
outreach and its effect on Brandywine
Hundred (our school) and the Episcopal Diocese of
Delaware and above all our own Spiritual Growth.
We also remember with great joy the six families
that became St David’s families, we think at
our urging and invitation.
. . . And so St David’s
has reached 50 years of service to hundreds of families
in Brandywine Hundred and the world. We hope and
pray the next 50 years will be just as good for GOD’S
people gathered as ST DAVID’S FAMILY as the
past has been to us.
----Jane & Wray Britton
SCHOOL | CHILDREN
PRAYER & WORSHIP
& STAFF | OUTREACH
1954 to 2004
2320 Grubb Road,
Wilmington, DE 19810 -- Call (302) 475-4688 or FAX (302) 529-1135.
Member Congregation of The Episcopal
Diocese of Delaware.
in The Episcopal Church of the USA
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2000-2008, Saint David's Episcopal Church, Wilmington,