Vestry minutes, Christ Church and St. Peter's Church, v. 2, 1761-1784



Vestry minutes, Christ Church and St. Peter's Church, v. 2, 1761-1784



Digital Identifier


Call Number, v2


Vestry minutes of the United Congregations of Christ Church and St. Peter's from 1761 to 1784. Each entry records the date and place of the meeting, members present and business discussed. Regular business includes elections of church leaders and hiring and payment of church staff; fundraising and the ongoing settlement of various financial accounts; establishment and collection of pew rents; and maintenance and repair of church buildings and grounds.

Other important events and topics include:

The opening of St. Peter's and the establishment of the United Churches of Christ-Church and St. Peter's in 1761, with shared government and finances. Minutes include draft and final versions of the charter for the United Churches.

The response of the United Churches to the 1763 "Indian invasion" of the "back provinces" of Pennsylvania and subsequent correspondence with church officials from York and Cumberland Counties on behalf of "families on the frontier."

The 1763 review and approval of Reverend William Sturgeon's fulfillment of his duty as the "Catechist to the Negroe Children for the Society for Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts."

The 1772 bequest from Dr. John Kearsley that funded the development of the Christ Church Hospital for poor women and widows.

The American Revolution. Minutes from the Vestry meeting of July 4, 1776, when the Vestry resolved at the onset of the American Revolution: "Whereas the Honorable Continental Congress have resolved to declare the American Colonies to be free and independent States, In consequence of which it will be proper to omit those Petitions in the Liturgy wherein the King of Great Britain is prayed for, as inconsistent with the said Declaration. Therefore Resolved, that it appears to this Vestry to be necessary for the peace and well-being of the Churches to omit the said Petitions, and the Rector and Assistant Ministers of the United Churches are requested in the Name of the Vestry and their Constituents to omit such petitions as are above mentioned." (p. 338)

Subsequent minutes reveal effects of the war, including the loss of pew rents after many parishioners fled the city during the British occupation, the damage to church property caused by the British army, and the departure of Reverend Coombe, who could not tolerate the conflict of serving revolutionary subjects while ordained and governed by the Church of England.




Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA

Holding Institution

Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA


461 pages

Format (Original)

Format (Digital)








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