In mid-1947, a small, faith-filled band of Episcopal women looked north from Newport Beach with a dream. Committing themselves to prayerful discernment, St. Anne's Guild was established. For 13 years, they continued to meet on a regular basis, praying, holding fund raising events, all to keep the vision of establishing an Episcopal Church in Huntington Beach alive. By early 1960, Huntington Beach was among the fastest growing communities in the entire nation. On April 24, 1960, a spark was struck, as the mission that would soon be known as St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church met for the first time, at Smith Chapel Mortuary in Huntington Beach.
By 1962, that spark was being fanned into flame, as the congregation identified a property, known as the Vogel Ranch, for a potential church site. Through the financial sacrifice of several key families, and the underwriting of the Diocese of Los Angeles, 5 acres of land, including a farmhouse, bunkhouses, and other assorted metal buildings, was secured. The chili farm was about to be forever transformed!
"Be a St. Wilfrid's Square," the building campaign that resulted in what we now know as Sacquety Hall, was launched in 1964. "Building to Serve," the building campaign that resulted in the campus we enjoy today, was launched in 1992. The spark had become a roaring blaze, as ministry at St. Wilfrid's touched the lives of individuals and families in life-giving, faith-building ways.
It is those very life-giving ministries that continue to fuel the mission of St. Wilfrid's, "A Christian Community, seeking to know and unconditionally share God's unfailing love." Some 150 children are nurtured through St. Wilfrid's Preschool and Kindergarten every week. Walk on this campus any day of the week and you will find study groups, support groups, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, musical groups, and community members simply enjoying the peaceful places for meditation that our campus offers.
The spark that began with St. Anne's Guild in 1947, has been fanned by generations of St. Wilfrid's parishioners. Though they would not know us, we are the beneficiaries of their sacrifice and their vision. Work is already underway on a Master Plan for potential expansion of our campus in the future. In the meantime, the ministries that depend on our faithfulness in the present, will be further empowered by the updates and upgrades outlined in this "Rekindle the Flame" campaign.
As you read through the following pages, please give thanks for the faith of those who have gone before us, and prayerfully consider the generations who will benefit from our faithfulness today.
For the results of the Feasibility Survey Conducted by The Episcopal Church Foundation, read here.