History of St Peter's

In 1961, with the purchase of 31.8 acres of land, on East Henrietta Road south of the Thruway, the dream of starting an Episcopal Church inHenrietta, New York was becoming a reality. The efforts of many, including Bishop Stark’s daughter-in-law Harriet Stark , advanced this idea, so that in the Fall 1962, The Right Rev. Dudley S. Stark, Bishop of the Rochester Diocese, approved the decision to form a Mission church. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church was approved and adopted as our name.


The first service was held at the American Legion Hall on Middle Road on February 3, 1963 and continued to be held in that location until the church could be built. The ground-breaking ceremony to erect the church was held on June 29, 1965. Stanmar, Inc. was contracted to construct a pre-engineered church building. The Ceremony was attended by 127 people including 34 children. The first Confirmation was held in the St. Peter’s Parish Hall on June 29, 1966. Thirty-two persons were confirmed at this ceremony. The dedication ceremony was held on October 16, 1966 when Bishop George Barrett and Bishop Stark blessed the door, threshold and interior of the newly built church.


In 1968, St. Peter’s began a collaboration with the Colgate Rochester/Bexley Hall/Crozer Field Education Program, which allowed theology students to intern at St.Peter’s. Byron Hall and David Weyrich were among the first seminarians to train at St. Peter’s. In 1974, training sessions for lay readers and acolytes began.


During his interim, Rev. Grant Schwartz planted the two Blue Spruce trees that adorns the side entrance sidewalk in observation of Rogation Sunday.


In 1980, the parish investigated sponsorship and support for a Vietnamese family. The family arrived in June 1981. A concerted effort by the parishioners helped the family establish roots in the Rochester community.


In 2005 the parishioners of St. Peter’s had another opportunity to help two displaced families who lost their homes in the hurricane, Katrina. The members of St. Peter’s parish, along with the parish of Christ Church, helped the families settle in Rochester. Appointed by Bishop Robert R Spears as the first woman priest to head a Parish in the Diocese of Rochester, The Rev. Marylyle Sweet Page was installed as third Vicar in a Celebration of New Ministry, March 23, 1979.


On November 9, 1985, St. Peter’s became a full union parish at the 54th Annual Diocesan Convention. The Rev. Marylyle Sweet Page was installed as the first Rector and served until April, 1989. Also in the year 1985, St. Peter’s started a child day care center which functioned until 2005.


In 1990, St. Peter’s hired its second female Rector, Rev. Sharon Karl, who served at this parish until her retirement in 2006.


As the parish grew, it became necessary to engage a secretary to help manage the resulting increase demands in running a parish. Chrystal Dudley came to work at St. Peter’s. Chrystal has been, an invaluable asset to the parish of St. Peter’s. Chrystal retired, September 30th, 2012.

In 2006, Reverend Julie Cicora was called to St. Peter’s as a Priest-in-Charge. In 2008, Julie was named Rector of St. Peter’s. By 2010, Rev. Julie Cicora was called by the Right Rev. Bishop Prince Singh, Rochester Diocese to serve as Cannon of the Ordinary. In March 11, 2012, Rev. Cannon Julie Cicora presented her resignation to the congregation which was accepted with well wishes for her new position and many thanks for her years of service to the people of St. Peter’s.

On Sunday 16th September 2012, the Vestry and Search Committee announced that The Reverend Catherine Leigh Tatem has been called as the new rector for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Her first service with us, was November 11th 2012. On Saturday 26th January 2013, Catherine was Installed as Rector of St Peter's.


Rectors/Vicars who have served this parish throughout the years include:
Rev. Charles Bollinger - 02/03/1963 to 09/1971
Rev. Grant Schwartz - 09/1971 to 11/1972 (interim)
Rev. Peter Courtney - 11/1972 to 3/1977 (Vicar)
Rev. James A. Rockwell - 3/1977 (Vicar)
Rev. Marylyle Sweet Page - 03/1979 to 4/1989 (Vicar/Rector)
Revs. Denton Durland and Bonnie VanDelinder - 04/1989 to 11/1990 (interim)
Rev. Sharon Karl - 11/1990 to 06/2006 (Rector)
Rev. Julie Cicora - 01/2007 to 3/2012 (Priest-in-Charge/Rector)
Rev. Catherine L. Tatem 11/11/2012 to Present (Rector)