Get to Know: Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis
Be Here. Be You. Be Loved.
A banner with those words hangs from Christ Church Cathedral for all to see in downtown St. Louis. Those words are also ingrained into the mission of this Episcopal congregation.
Four years before St. Louis was chartered as a city in 1823, Christ Church was organized by 26 people who assembled for a service in a building that previously had been a dance hall and a courtroom. That worship service on Oct. 24, 1819, was the first for an Episcopal-Anglican congregation west of the Mississippi River. Nearly 50 years later, the congregation constructed a permanent church at its present location at the corner of Locust and 13th Streets.
The amazing 153-year old Gothic structure is a National Historic Landmark. The bells in the bell tower came from the same German foundry that cast the bells for the German Pavilion at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The largest bell weighs 5,732 pounds, making it Missouri’s biggest.
Inside the church you’ll find beautiful stained glass windows, a pipe organ, and an amazing reredos. The reredos is the elegantly sculpted wall rising 35 feet behind the main altar. It contains 52 religious figures and biblical scenes, and was carved between 1909 and 1911 from cream-colored stone excavated from Beer Quarry Caves, close to Exeter, England. Then its sections were shipped in 230 cases to the Cathedral.
Beyond the grandeur of the building itself, Christ Church Cathedral and its members have a history of service in downtown St. Louis. From Saturday morning breakfasts to winter outreach, the “Red Door Church” engages in a variety of ministries for those experiencing homelessness. The Cathedral’s deans and members have a strong history of activism for social justice.
The Cathedral’s staff also has quite a history -- Canon Precentor Pat Partridge has served as the organist and choirmaster for more than 40 years and Custodian Robert Buckley has served the building and congregation for 34 years!
Moving into the future, Dean Kathie Adams-Shepherd says she wants to experiment with cutting-edge liturgy, to continue offering their space for community ministry, and to do the mission of God in the downtown neighborhood. The future also includes a new African missional community. The congregation received a $30,000 seed grant from The Episcopal Church in 2021 to plant this new community. Plans are now underway for this exciting project.
Christ Church Cathedral is the “mother church” for our diocese. The bishop has his official “seat” here and the bishop’s offices are located in the adjoining Bishop Tuttle Memorial Building. Elected lay and clergy members from throughout the diocese join with Cathedral members and the dean to form the Cathedral Chapter.
“People feel a connection to this place - this is their home,” said Dean Kathie.
Church Name: Christ Church Cathedral
Address: 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis
Email: [email protected]
Sunday Worship Services:
- 8 a.m. - Holy Eucharist, Rite I
- 10:30 a.m. - Choral Eucharist, Rite II (also livestreamed)
Additional Worship Opportunities:
- Morning Prayer, Monday-Saturday on Facebook
- Compline, Monday - Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on Facebook
We seek a deeper relationship with God and each other in Jesus Christ through:
Celebrating the sacraments faithfully,
Proclaiming the Gospel boldly,
Embracing diversity joyfully,
And serving all passionately, as a Cathedral.
- Dean: The Very Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd
- Curate: The Rev. Dave Malek
- Priest Assisting: The Rev. Canon Helen Ludbrook
- Deacon: The Rev. Susan Naylor
Average Attendance: 150