Get to Know: Trinity Episcopal Church, Central West End / St. Louis
Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis is a congregation that is shaped by its surroundings. Its location provides a diversity of community needs and resources, and its commitment to the importance of liturgy provides a traditional "high church" experience for all who come through its doors.
The parish was founded in 1855 as a spin-off of St. George's Episcopal Church, in what is described as a "high versus low" church dispute. The congregation worshiped in several different locations in the city in its early history and landed in its current neighborhood on Euclid Avenue in 1935.
That neighborhood is known as the Central West End of St. Louis. Trinity sits on a dividing line that in many ways defines its ministry. One block to its north is Delmar Boulevard, which historically has stood as an unjust socio-economic divide in our city. And to the south, east and west of the church is the Central West End, with its million-dollar homes and bustling business and medical communities.
"We’re at that crossroads between several different groups that at times may never meet outside of church," said the Venerable Harry Leip. Harry is the Archdeacon of the Diocese of Missouri and has served as a deacon at Trinity since 2011.
"Trinity is known for its prophetic pulpit where we honestly preach about the world and often do the painful truth-telling that people don’t hear in other places," Harry added. "We acknowledge the pain, we acknowledge the injustice. I think that’s an awareness that’s always in the mix at Trinity."
That mix leads the congregation to a real presence in their neighbor. Trinity's food ministry was founded 50 years ago, with a mission to be as Christ in the midst of the people. Trinity runs a food pantry that is open two afternoons each week and serves a free hot lunch to neighbors every Sunday afternoon, with volunteers from around the Diocese and the community helping Trinitarians cook and serve meals.
Feeding the hungry is just one of the ways Trinity is serving their community. The congregation has also teamed up with "The T," a community-based service promoting holistic healing from trauma related to bullet injuries and overdose in St. Louis. The T's mobile harm reduction van and team of trained workers have hours in Trinity's parking lot each week to treat injuries, provide education, and build relationships with the people in their neighborhood.
Trinity has also received special recognition as a national LGBTQ+ historic site for its role in recognizing, welcoming, and honoring the LGBTQ+ community since the 1960s.
From social justice in the community to incense and chanting during their worship services, Trinity continues to shape its community in the image of God. "Trinity tries really hard to be hospitable to everyone and to serve others with a compassionate heart, while at the same time being mindful of the importance of liturgy," said Deacon Harry.
Church name: Trinity Episcopal Church
Address: 600 N. Euclid
City: St. Louis
Email: [email protected]
- Sundays at 8 & 10:30 a.m. - Holy Eucharist
- The Very Rev. Jon Stratton, Rector
- The Rev. Harry Leip, Deacon
- The Rev. Barbi Click, Food Ministry Manager
Trinity is a progressive Episcopal Church where our commitment to the radical gospel of Christ calls us to worship God, welcome the seeker, sustain the faithful, and serve those in need.
(numbers from 2020 Parochial Report)