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About Us

Saint Peter's began its existence at the time that the community of Essex Fells was developed. New residents, who were Episcopalians, found it difficult to travel to the nearest Episcopal Church on Sunday and desired their own church. Lay-led services began in the original railroad station in 1893. In 1896 a church was constructed and by 1906 the congregation had become a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. The original church was soon expanded and a parish hall was constructed. These original buildings now constitute our chapel and the Saint Peter's Nursery School.

Saint Peter's, from its founding, has always served the wider communities of West Essex. During the 1930s and 1940s the parish ran a bus on Sundays through the Caldwells to help people without cars attend church. In fact, the church was known in this period as Saint Peter's Church Caldwell-Essex Fells. As a destination church, Saint Peter's continues to drawn people from and the communities of West Essex and from Verona, Cedar Grove, West Orange, Wayne, Livingston, and even farther beyond.

The parish greatly expanded with suburban development after World War II becoming one of the largest churches in the diocese. The parish outgrew the original church and a new larger building was constructed in the 1950s. This building is still affectionately known as "the new church." The current church campus provides space for worship, education, outreach, and parish and community events. We have an large and active Sunday school and youth program. We have a vibrant music program with choirs for children and adults and a concert series. Our community life is very important for us. We work together on numerous outreach projects, we gather for study and we gather together to share meals and have fun.

Saint Peter's is an Episcopal Church, a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Our tradition embraces both Protestant and Catholic spiritualities. People find their way to Saint Peter's from many different religious traditions. We are a thinking church; we don't expect people to leave their minds at the church door. We prize scripture, tradition and reason. Our worship combines both traditional and more modern elements and is grounded in the celebration of the Holy Communion. Music is an important part of our worship experience. Saint Peter's has a special ministry to families with young children with a special service at 9 AM each Sunday that welcomes and includes these children.

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© 2015
Saint Peter's Episcopal Church
271 Roseland Avenue
Essex Fells, NJ 07021
Phone: 973.226.6500
Fax: 973.226.5477