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All Saints’ Episcopal Church on 46th Street to Close Next Month

All Saints’ Episcopal Church at 43-12 46th St. (Photo: Queens Post)

Jan. 14, 2020 By Christian Murray

All Saints’ Episcopal Church on 46th Street is closing and the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island is in the midst of deciding what to do with the property.

The parish, which was established in 1928, is closing on Feb. 23, as membership numbers fall and the cost of running the church hard for the diocese to maintain. The church property will be administered by the Long Island diocese, with the diocese saying it has no intention to sell the property.

The church, located at 43-12 46th St., was built in 1934 and the structure is not landmarked, according to city records. The parish in its early years was run out of a member’s Sunnyside apartment.

“All Saints Church in Sunnyside will close as a parish congregation on Feb. 23,” said Reverend Lawrence Provenzano, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. “But the diocese has no plans to sell the property. We will continue to use the church building, including future arrangements with our tenants for at least a year.”

The church is currently used by Amazing Magic Beans, a pre-school, which will remain open—at least until the end of summer.

Church membership has been on the decline for at least three decades.

The church had more than 100 members in 1998, Provenzano said, but that number has dwindled to about 20 and the church can no longer afford to maintain the property and support staff salaries.

The sanctuary is built for about 100 attendees, but only about 12 to 18 people attend each of the two services on Sundays, according to Rev. Gabriel Lamazares, who has led the parish since June 2016.

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29 Comments

JT

Such a beautiful building, I hope it’s repurposed as something beneficial to the community rather than being razed.

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Patrick Andersen

I am in San Francisco, so I do not know the local circumstances that led to this situation at All Saints (and, apparently, in the surrounding neighborhood). I can tell you that when our parish church, St. Peter’s Episcopal of San Francisco, was severely damaged in the 1989 earthquake, we were unable to restore the church and attendance dwindled dramatically. Eventually, after 15 years, we demolished the church and built affordable, independent housing for developmentally disabled adults on the site. The congregation—what was left of it—migrated to various chapels for a few years and eventually moved in with Trinity, which was established during the Gold Rush in 1849 and is the oldest Episcopal Church on the West Coast. San Francisco has become so expensive that families with kids have mostly moved to the suburbs, so Trinity had suffered a severe decline in membership also. But now Trinity†St. Peter’s is beginning to thrive. The men’s singing group Chanticleer maintains its headquarters in what used to be the parish hall, and the church hosts occasional concerts and art shows, weekly Taize services on Wednesday nights, and regular church services on Sundays. We still have a long way to go, but we are looking ahead with optimism.

So as heartbreaking as it is for All Saints to be closing, look to see what opportunities the Spirit is opening up for you. First, how can you use the property to benefit the surrounding community? Second, how and where will the congregation continue to share worship? Every ending is also a new beginning. Know that we on the West Coast are praying for you.

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AnnaBNana

I like the idea of a community center. It could be a place where classes could be held, e.g. music and art classes, yoga, and so on. Perhaps there could be a series of performances and lectures (as I learned exists in Lincoln Center) free or low cost, supported, perhaps by grants? An adjunct to the Senior Center on 39th Street, which is a great place? Or open to all. I would go!

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shadow

Illegal aliens don not deserve driver’s licenses. They broke the law to get here and should be sent back. They don’t deserve anything!!

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Lucy

Former parishioner: All Saints’ Church was thriving in the 1980’s under the auspices of The Rev. Robert Wagenseil. He restored the inside of the building, as well as funding the large front stained glass window. Rev. Bob’s key to bringing the church back to life was to be completely active in the Sunnyside community. When he and his wife moved to another diocese, that is when church attendance started to decline much to the dismay of new rector, The Rev. Joseph Jerome.

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Rose

Turn it into a Dept of Motor Vehicles location. With the state now giving out licenses to undocumented immigrants it will benefit many in the area to be so close to home.

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Kevin K Graf

Today’s Society Young People no longer use the Brick and Mortar Foundation Churches of Us and Our Parents past.
If it is not held in the palm of their hand the interest is short.
To take a few hours aside to meet with God is a thing of the past.
The Foundation of America was set on these Basic Principles!
Hence why all the troubles now.

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Arthur

What about a building a Wellness and support center for all the victims abused by priests.

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DG Duffy-All Saints

FYI
All Saints Church remains open until February 23.
Sunday services with Holy Communion :
English 10 AM and Spanish 12 noon except on
February 23 when a bilingual service will be held at 11AM
Morning prayer at 9:30 AM on Mon &Wed
Evening prayer 6:30 PM Thursdays followed by Bible study

Brown Bags for the Homeless Sat 1/18 & 2/15
90 brown bags with sandwiches, dessert and snacks
Are assembled by us and anyone who can assist 10AM..come and make a difference for those in a homeless shelter in Queens

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Mac

What a shame. I’ve been going to the Strawberry Fair since I was a little kid in the 70’s.

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Art

Back in the 80s this church was used as an Armenian church to serve the sizable Armenian community in Woodside/Sunnyside. Even back then the Episcopalian church was struggling with parishioners.

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LDragos

Just an additional comment, it was Father Knight and after he left Father Jones took his place. Both bring back so many good memories.

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LDragos

How very sad. I attended All Saint’s my entire childhood, Baptized, Confirmation and First Communion, Sunday School. Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. Until I married and moved away, I have always had fond and loving memories and always will.

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Kayla

My senor citizen neighbor thinks they will turn it into a homeless shelter or community jail. I think it will either become a mosque or new apartment building.

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Tootsies tooters

This reflects badly on the community
The older congregants either moved or died
The Hispanic congregants could not sustain the church which needed more outreach
Had a great concert series
Very sad
Lovely building
Father Joseph Jerome was very active

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ANOTHER racist Trump lover?

Is there a shred of evidence to support that?

Oh, it’s a complete lie? We already assumed. Trump lovers are so gullible 😂

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A. Theist

A huge positive. Less senseless brainwashing. The only negative will be the developer that buys the land will get a variance to build a huge overpriced condo monstrosity

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