History of the Church of the Holy Communion
Church of the Holy Communion has enjoyed a rich history in Norwood, NJ. Prior to the official formation of Church of the Holy Communion, records reflect that Episcopal services were held in Norwood as early as January 23, 1870 in the Presbyterian Church.
Bishop Odenheimer of the Diocese of Newark granted official canonical consent to the formation of Church of the Holy Communion on October 14, 1878. The parish was originally started as a weekend and summer chapel by New Yorkers. At this point in time, Norwood and the area around it was a popular weekend, vacation and summer destination.
Mr. and Mrs. George W Luckey donated the land for the church. Construction of the first church building started in 1876 and was completed in 1877. The church was consecrated in 1878. An early morning fire destroyed the original church on November 6. 1886.
The parishioners were determined to rebuild their church. The present church, which is patterned along the exact lines of the original building, was completed in 1888 at a cost of $8,229.69. The William H. Oakley family generously donated the Carrera marble altar and a magnificent three panel Tiffany window depicting the resurrection. The Suydam family donated an exquisite pipe organ manufactured by J.H. & C.S. Odell Organ Builders. All of these wonderful gifts are still in service today as reminders of our deep heritage in Norwood and the families that gave our church its start.
In 1930, a parish hall was added. The parish hall and church were connected by a cloister which was generously donated by Mrs. Carolyn Savidge, mother of J. Foster Savidge, a priest who served as rector of our church for thirty-six years.
In 1969, the church financed the construction of an education building which today houses Episcopal Child Care Services (ECCS), a state-licensed preschool committed to providing high quality, affordable day care for families who live and work in the area.
In 1980, Church of the Holy Communion was yoked with St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in neighboring Harrington Park. This allowed the two churches to share a rector and many of the administrative expenses involved with parish life. This arrangement was ended in 1987 with the consent of both parishes. Since this time, Church of the Holy Communion has functioned as an independent church in the Diocese of Newark.
Over the years, our small church, like the area it serves, has transformed itself. What was once a weekend/vacation chapel has now become a vibrant church that serves a growing suburban area.
While Church of the Holy Communion has never been a large parish, it has a rich history and has touched the lives of its parishioners and visitors with the warmth of its congregation and the beauty of its surroundings.