Buildings and Grounds

Trinity Parish maintains two church complexes that are about three miles apart, both of which are listed on the National Historic Register. Worshiping in these beautiful spaces connects us with the past, present, and future - or as we like to say, these spaces embody our 300 years of faith in the city.

 

As a parish, we are committed to preserving these historic buildings with continued financial support through our annual budget, supplemented by outside grants when possible. We have a full-time property manager who works with a lay committee to oversee all property improvements. The vestry has recently commissioned a special committee to identify our long-term facility needs and ways to address them.



 

Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church

606 Church Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

Dating from 1698, Old Swedes church is located near the site of the original Swedes' landing and represents one of only two remaining examples of Swedish-American church architecture. Sitting in the center of a tree-shaded, historic graveyard, the church has box-type pews, which seat approximately 250 persons when the gallery is used. The surrounding neighborhood is a mix of low-income housing and light industry.

 

Additional information about Old Swedes Church and Cemetery may be found on the on the Old Swedes website. http://www.oldswedes.org/

 

 

Trinity Church

1108 N. Adams Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

Built in 1890 and located in the heart of Wilmington, Trinity Church is a traditional English Gothic structure that seats approximately 300 people and contains a number of Tiffany and other stained-glass windows, the earliest dating from 1890. The neighborhood immediately adjacent to the church is a mix of high-rise office buildings, apartments, and turn-of-the-century houses, some of which have been restored or renovated, but many of which have not.

 

Trinity Church is designed in the English Gothic tradition; its architect was Theophilus P. Chandler, Jr. of Philadelphia. The cost of the Church, exclusive of the tower and spire, was $45,569.71. The exterior walls are constructed of rough dressed Avondale stone as is the low ornamental wall surrounding the Church. The interior view of the high, steeped roof displays an unusual architectural feature: the hammer beams, the short cantilevered timbers supporting the wooden arches, are hand carved angels.

 

In 1911, the attached Parish House and (old) Rectory was completed, based on plans by the architectural firm of Frank Miles Day & Bro. of Philadelphia. In that same year, the Caen stone altar and reredos and the wainscoting with sedilia and the Bishop's chair within the Sanctuary were installed as a memorial gift. This stonework and the carved choir and clergy stalls of fumed oak were designed by Day Brothers and Klauder of Philadelphia. The carving of all the stonework and stalls was executed by John Maene and Co., sculptors.

 

The stone pulpit was given as a memorial in 1913, and the tower and spire were completed in 1925. The memorial set of tower chimes is composed of twelve bells cast by the Meneely Bell Foundry of Watervliet, New York, of purest bell-metal bronze. The total weight of the bells is 10,700 pounds while the frame and mountings add another 4,500 pounds. Restored in 1974, the chimes can be played from the organ or a separate console, electrically connected with the bells in the tower. The carved stone Baptismal font is dated 1872, and it is assumed that it was moved to the New Church from the Trinity Chapel at Fifth and King. The Austin organ, opus #1619, was erected in 1928 and renovated in 1975 with over 700 new pipes, a new console, an entire re-actioning, and numerous innovations.

 

The stained glass window in the Sanctuary and the five windows in the North and South Transcepts were made in the Tiffany Studios in New York and date from 1890 to 1900. The Tiffany windows depict the following:

  • Altar Window- "Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you."  (Matthew 11:28)
  • South Transcept- "Be not afraid;  for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will come to all the people."  (Luke 2:8-14)
  • North Transcept- "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."  (Matthew 25:40)
  • Left of above - two small windows of Saint Anne and Saint Agnes.
  • Two small lancet windows, forward on the left aisle near the North Transcept are the work of Charles J. Boston. Installed in 1928, the six medallions depict "The Ideals of Christian Service" and illustrate Matthew 25:35-36.
  • The large window at the back of the Nave, over the doors to the Parish House, was installed in 1911 and is the work of the American Decorative Glass Company. It depicts Simeon holding the infant Jesus in the Temple with Mary and Joseph, and quotes the Nunc Dimittis, "The Song of Simeon"-"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation..."  (Luke 2:29-32).
  • The brilliantly colored window at the back of the Nave, to the right of the doors to the Parish House, was installed in 1929. Designed by James H. Hogan, the window was executed by John Powell & Sons of London in the White Friar Glass Works where similar windows were produced for the Cathedrals of Liverpool and St. John the Divine. The window depicts Christ giving to Peter the Keys of the Kingdom: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church," (Matthew 16:18-19). The lower six panels of the window illustrate the progress of the Church from Apostolic times: St. Peter and St. John confirming converts in Jerusalem; St. Paul Preaching in Athens; St. Thomas ministering to men of India; St. Augustine in England; Wycliffe bringing the Bible to the English Church; and the landing of the Swedes in Delaware.
  • Three new stained glass memorial windows were added in recent years along the wall that is parallel to Adams Street. These include the Good Shepherd window, the Baptism of Jesus window, and the Christ and Creation window, the latter two designed and manufactured by the Joseph Beyer Studio in Philadelphia. In the Christ and Creation window (2002), biblical scenes are portrayed with contemporary figures. Note the story of the Good Samaritan with the profiles of Trinity Church and the neighboring bank in the background.

Art metalwork in Trinity Church includes the solid brass lamps hanging above the front door (1893) and the Lectern (1900). The Lectern also is worked in solid brass with a bronze eagle. It was a memorial gift of a Trinity Vestryman, Samuel C. Biddle, in 1892. Samuel Biddle was married to his wife, Ella, on June 1, 1891, the first wedding in the New Church. Ella and her infant son died in the Spring of 1892.

 

Trinity Chapel

In 1949, plans were made for the expansion and alteration of the Parish House and for construction of a chapel. This addition was designed by Victorine and Samuel Homsey, Wilmington architects, and was completed in May 1953. "The Chapel of the Transfiguration" was consecrated in January 1955. The five memorial windows, designed and executed by Wilbur Herbert Burnham of Boston, illustrate events in the life of Jesus as they pertain to Christ's Transfiguration. Proceeding from the window opposite the entrance from the Narthex to the Altar, the scenes are as follows:

  • Moses and Elijah with Jesus-Peter, James and John with Jesus, on the mountain.   (Mark 9:2-4, Matthew 17:1-3)
  • The Temptation of Jesus.  (Matthew 4:1-10)
  • Christ healing the two blind men-Jesus Bidding Peter to walk on the water. (Matthew 9:27-29, 14:28-31)
  • The Last Supper with Judas-Our Lord washing the feet of Peter. (Luke 22:14-21, John 13:12-15)
  • Symbolic representation of the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God"-"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God."-Matthew 5:1-12, Luke 6:20-23).

In the lobby of the Parish House is a painting of Old Swedes Church by Bayard Berndt. In the background are a cluster of houses and the Christina River, evoking the 17th century origins of Trinity Parish today.

 

The Gateway Campaign

In 2010, Trinity Church underwent major rennovations.  The exterior renovations consisted of providing grade level access to the main entrances, refurbishing and reworking the parking area, elevating the office entrance to remove interior stairs and constructing new raised stone walls, flagstone walks and granite curbs to match the existing.  The entrance doors were also refurbished and automated for handicap access. A new electric entrance service was  installed. 

 

The interior renovations consisted of a new HVAC system in the Church and Chapel designed for even air distribution thru a perimeter wainscot and updating the office and dining area air-conditioning. The sanctuary floor was reinforced, marble flooring was installed in the sanctuary and the pews were removed for new movable Cathedral seating. A new automatic limited access elevator was installed and the nursery was relocated and updated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Contact Us

Trinity Episcopal Parish includes:

 

Trinity Church
1108 N. Adams Street
Wilmington DE 19801
and
Old Swedes Church
606 Church Street
Wilmington DE 19801

Contact us:
(302) 652-8605

Our Parish Office is located in Trinity Church. 
 
Office Hours are:
Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 4 pm
            Friday:          9 am - 3 pm
 
 

Sign Up for Our E-mail News

We send a weekly email with announcements, our prayer list, and other important info.  Click here to start receiving our weekly news.

 

Church Calendar

Check out our church calendar to find out about upcoming events at Trinity Parish.  The calendar is available online here. 

 

Make a Secure Gift Online through Vanco

We use Vanco Services to handle our electronic contributions.  To make a one-time or recurring gift to Trinity Parish click here to be connected to Vanco's secure site.

 

Image description

Print Print | Sitemap
© Trinity Episcopal Parish