Church of the Good Shepherd (Rosemont, Pennsylvania)
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Church of the Good Shepherd Rosemont, Pennsylvania

Church of the Good Shepherd
Bell Tower, Church of the Good Shepherd (Rosemont, Pennsylvania).jpg
40°1?28?N 75°19?29?W / 40.02444°N 75.32472°W / 40.02444; -75.32472Coordinates: 40°1?28?N 75°19?29?W / 40.02444°N 75.32472°W / 40.02444; -75.32472
Location1116 E Lancaster Avenue, Rosemont, Pennsylvania
CountryUnited States
ChurchmanshipHigh church
WebsiteThe Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, Pennsylvania
Statusactive parish
Architect(s)Baily & Truscott (Philadelphia) (main church); Samuel Fowler and Samuel Mountford (Trenton, New Jersey) (Baptistry, Cloister, and Lady Chapel)
Architectural typeGothic Revival
StyleEnglish Gothic
Bells11 in bell tower
ParishChurch of the Good Shepherd
DioceseEpiscopal Diocese of Pennsylvania
RectorRev. Dr. Kyle Babin
Organist(s)Matthew Glandorf

Church of the Good Shepherd of Rosemont, Pennsylvania, is a progressive and inclusive Episcopal parish church in the liberal Anglo-Catholic tradition.[1] It is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and is located in the Philadelphia Main Line.

The parish proclaims that "Hate Has No Home Here" and welcomes everyone, including Episcopalians and those of other faith traditions, spiritual seekers, non-believers, LGBTQIA+ persons and members of other marginalized communities, and any who seek meditation, prayer, or refreshment in a place of peaceful beauty.[2]

Location of Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pennsylvania (white x), in relation to Bryn Mawr College (right), and Villanova University (upper left)

Art and architecture

West Window

Entrance and Bell Tower

Above the main (north) entrance to the church is a polychrome statue depicting the boy Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The crenellated tower contains bells playing the Cambridge Quarters each quarter of the hour, as well as ringing the Angelus and chiming during the eucharistic consecration. The chime of 11 bells, donated in 1913, are playable from a console in the Lady Chapel. Ten of the bells are stationary; the largest (the 11th bell) can be swung.[3]

Nave and Stained Glass

Church building ca. 1910

The nave comprises five bays and a clerestory with stained glass. In all, the building's stained glass includes 50 figurative windows and six ornamental windows.[4]

Rood Screen

Rood Screen and Chancel Ceiling

A large carved wooden rood screen surmounted with a crucifixion separates the chancel from the nave. The screen was added to the church in 1912. Its gates are by celebrated blacksmith Samuel Yellin (1884-1940).[5]


The chancel enjoys a richly-decorated coffered ceiling.

High Altar and Reredos

The high altar is made of Caen stone, and was installed in 1905. In 1929 artist and parishioner George Fort Gibbs created seven paintings for the church's high altar reredos as a memorial to his parents. The center panel is a Virgin and Child, flanked by panels depicting other figures from the Christian era (left of the tabernacle) and Old Testament (right of the tabernacle): Saint Francis of Assisi; Saint Peter; King Saint Edward the Confessor (last king of the English House of Wessex); Moses; Aaron; and King David.[5]

Lady Chapel

There is a separate Lady Chapel entered at the top of the south aisle, dedicated in 1918. The space was originally a sacristy and choir room. The current limestone altar was installed in 1954. The tabernacle and triptych, as well as the carved double-desk, are by parishioner Davis d'Ambly, and date from the 1980s.[5]

Lady Chapel


An octagonal baptistry with carved font and stained glass was added off the south side of the church in 1932. The chandelier is by Samuel Yellin, and the glazing and polychrome are by Valentine d'Ogries (1889-1959).[5]

War Memorial

The Memorial, created in 1942, honors parishioners who have served in the armed forces in and since World War II. It was installed at the urging of parishioner Lt. Gen. Milton Baker, who also established the nearby Valley Forge Military Academy and College.[5]


There is a columbarium and small funerary chapel in the crypt of the church, along with a vault containing the coffins of benefactor Harry Banks French and members of his family.


The church building is open each day of the week for visits and meditation. Good Shepherd holds services on Sunday at 8:00 am (Low Mass) and at 10:30 am (Sung High Mass). Evening prayer is held Monday through Friday at 5:30 pm.

Our Lady of Walsingham shrine at Good Shepherd. The original shrine in England was suppressed in 1538 during the English Reformation, but devotion to her was revived in the 19th century by Anglo-Catholics

As at other High Church, Anglo-Catholic churches, worship at Good Shepherd incorporates the later Catholic Revival's devotional and eucharistic practices:

Anglican Service Book

Good Shepherd is the publisher of the Anglican Service Book, which it has used in its worship services. The book is an Anglo-Catholic version of the Book of Common Prayer used in the Episcopal Church.

Music program

The organist and choirmaster is Matthew Glandorf, a graduate of and faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music.[6]

The choir comprises a professional core with auditioned volunteer singers. The choir sings weekly at the 10:30 High Mass on Sunday, and at special liturgies throughout the year, including Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, the solemn liturgies of Holy Week, Easter and Pentecost. The choir offers a sung setting of the Mass on most Sundays and feast days ranging from Palestrina and Victoria to Stanford and Parry and the great English cathedral repertoire, as well as sacred music being written for the church today such as James MacMillan, Eriks Esenvalds and local Philadelphia composers. The music program has a Choral Scholar Program for talented students from nearby colleges, including male and female choral scholars from, e.g., Bryn Mawr College, Villanova University, and Haverford College, to support them in their studies.[7]


The organ at Good Shepherd is an Austin, Op. 2613 (1977), with three manuals and 57 ranks of pipes.


The parish was founded in 1869 as part of the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement revival in the Anglican Church,[8] and was admitted to the Diocese of Pennsylvania in 1871. Its original church building was on the North side of Lancaster Avenue, just east of the present football stadium of Villanova University. Through a donation of $27,000 (approximately $748,000 in 2018 dollars) from parishioner Harry Banks French of the Smith, Kline & French company,[9] the present church building was designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm of Baily & Truscott,[10] and constructed between 1893 and 1894 in the Gothic Revival style of a 14th-Century English country church. The first services were held in 1894, and the building was consecrated in 1910.[11]

Good Shepherd Hospital

The parish set up Good Shepherd Hospital in the 1870s, originally to care for children whose parents could not afford to give them medical services. In 1903 the name was changed to the Home and Hospital of the Good Shepherd, and in 1915 admissions were restricted to boys between 7 and 14. The Hospital was conducted as a parochial institution until June 1922 when it merged with the Church Farm School, an Episcopal Church institution farther west in the Philadelphia suburbs.[12]

Move from Radnor to Rosemont

The original church building near Villanova was in use for about 20 years. It had been informally intended to be, in part, a memorial to two distinguished Episcopal bishops (Jackson Kemper and Samuel Bowman). A window honoring the bishops was installed in the church. In the 1890s, the vestry decided to move to a more spacious location in neighboring Rosemont, Pennsylvania, and received the donation from Harry Banks French to erect what is today the church building.[a]


Name Years
Henry Palethorp Hay 1869 - 1883
Arthur B. Conger 1883 - 1912
Charles Townsend Jr. 1912 - 1930
Thomas A. Sparks 1930 - 1932
William P.S. Lander 1933 - 1962
James H. Cupit, Jr. 1963 - 1971
George William Rutler 1971 - 1978
Andrew Craig Mead 1978 - 1985
Jeffrey N. Steenson 1986 - 1989
David Moyer 1989 - 2002
vacant[b] 2002 - 2012
Richard C. Alton 2012 - 2014
Ian Montgomery 2014 - 2018
Kyle Babin 2020 - present



  1. ^ Although the memorial windows were to be removed and used in the new church, some members of the congregation objected, arguing that they had donated funds for the original church with the understanding that it alone would be a memorial to the two bishops, and that a charitable trust existed for that purpose, prohibiting the move to Rosemont. Litigation followed, including two decisions by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, finally permitting the move. The supreme court ultimately ruled that the parish's 1870 articles of incorporation described it as existing for the purpose of worship, but not as a vehicle for memorializing persons, and that the vestry had control of the property subject to the Canon Law of the Episcopal Church. In the first case,[13] the supreme court enjoined the vestry from the move from Radnor. In the final case,[14] the supreme court reversed itself and allowed the move.
  2. ^ In 2002 David Moyer was deposed from the priesthood by the bishop of Pennsylvania, although he remained de facto rector of Good Shepherd until 2011, when the parish was returned to control of the Diocese of Pennsylvania by court order and Moyer vacated the premises.

See also


  1. ^ a b "About Anglo-Catholicism". 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "Church of the Good Shepherd". Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ Church of the Good Shepherd (2019), Treasures of Heaven, The Art and Architecture of Good Shepherd, Rosemont, a Self-Guided Tour
  4. ^ "Census of Stained Glass Windows in America". Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Church of the Good Shepherd 2019.
  6. ^ "Matthew Glandorf, Curtis Institute Faculty". Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "Choir at Good Shepherd". Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ It is Pennsylvania non-profit corporation entity number 66578, incorporated 23 May 1870 (Records of the Pennsylvania Secretary of State).
  9. ^ "An Historical Sermon Delivered in the Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd Rosemont Pa. By the Rector the Rev. Arthur B. Conger A.M. On the Third Sunday After Trinity June 12th, 1910". Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "Baily & Truscott (fl. 1890-1904)". Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Coates, Edward Osborne. An historical sketch of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, Pennsylvania, 1869-1934 (unknown publisher, 1935).
  12. ^ "Church of the Good Shepherd". Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "Cushman v. Rector etc. of Church of Good Shepherd of Radnor, 162 Pa. 280, 29 A. 872 (1894)". 1894. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Cushman v. Rector etc. of Church of Good Shepherd of Radnor, 188 Pa. 438, 41 A. 616 (1898)". 1899. Retrieved 2018.

Further reading

  • The Anglican Service Book, 1991, ISBN 0-9629955-0-9
  • Brown, Stewart J. & Nockles, Peter B. ed. The Oxford Movement: Europe and the Wider World 1830-1930, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Chadwick, Owen. Mind of the Oxford Movement, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1960.
  • Faught, C. Brad. The Oxford Movement: a thematic history of the Tractarians and their times, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003, ISBN 978-0-271-02249-9
  • Rzeznik, Thomas F. Church and Estate: Religion and Wealth in Industrial Era Philadelphia. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013, ISBN 978-0-271-05967-9
  • Walworth, Clarence A. The Oxford Movement in America. New York: United States Catholic Historical Society, 1974 (Reprint of the 1895 ed. published by the Catholic Book Exchange, New York).

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes