Where is St. Bride’s Church located?
We are located in the Indian River section of Chesapeake in the Diocese of Southern Virginia. The boundary between the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach run through our property. The city of Norfolk is only two miles away.
What is St. Bride’s like?
We are an Anglo-Catholic parish. We are unique in the area and draw our congregation from neighboring cities. We have regular visits from friends in North Carolina and the outlying cities of Hampton Roads. Although we have a solid core of local members, some of our communicants drive 10 to 20 miles to participate in worship and other activities.
How does St. Bride’s express its Anglo-Catholic nature?
We offer a variety of services. There is a Sung Mass at 11:00 A.M. every Sunday. We offer Mass on a regular weekday schedule , Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. and on Prayer Book Holy days. Every six months (Pentecost to Advent) we alternate between Rite I and Rite II. We enjoy Evensong and Benediction several times a year. The congregation participates in Stations of the Cross during Lent. The Rosary is said weekly on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm. Confession is offered upon request.
Is your Anglo-Catholicism manifested only in liturgy?
St. Bride’s takes seriously the Catholic acts of mercy. We make, deliver and distribute several hundred sandwiches each month. Members often bring special concerns to the congregation. We support the needy both financially and through prayer. We have a well supported Rector’s Discretionary Fund.
Who is the Bishop of the Diocese?
The Bishop of the Diocese is the Right Reverend Susan B. Haynes. The Diocese Offices are located at 11827 Canon Blvd., Suite 101 Newport News, VA. 23606-3071. The Diocese stretches from the North Carolina state line north to Richmond and west to Danville.
What is St. Bride’s relationship to the Diocese?
St. Bride’s participates fully in Diocesan life. We attend Council, clergy and spouse conferences, Bishop’s Day with Wardens and Vestries and other called meetings. We give to the Diocesan budget.
What educational opportunities are there at St. Bride’s?
The Adult Forum is taught by lay people. Programs have included video series, lectures, Bible studies and discussions.
How are the youth involved?
Our young people attend services. We offer camp scholarships to children that are interested. If young people express an interest, we encourage them and provide funding to enable them to participate in this special opportunity.
There is a strong corps of Acolytes. Adults and children serve, rotating positions. The Acolyte Master trains each person for several jobs insuring a smooth service on Sunday mornings.
What are the biggest challenges facing St. Bride’s?
Some of the issues that face St. Bride’s are universal to small and medium churches. Some times we each wear more than one “hat” but everyone pitches in so that we can provide beautiful and reverent worship.
How do you incorporate new members?
We ask newcomers to join the Altar Guild, the Ushers and to attend programs. We incorporate people through the sandwich ministry. With three acres of lawn, the mowing rota is always looking for a few new men and women.
We visit the welcome centers at the military bases several times a year. We post notices which give our location and services, knowing that military families may have experienced Anglo-Catholicism in another duty station.
We have a wonderful organist/choirmaster who supports the liturgy through music and encourages the talent we have. We would like to encourage all St. Bridians to sing with heart and voice. We have offered classes to assist in this process.
What are the strengths of the parish?
St. Bride’s is a cohesive parish. We have a loving relationship with one another. Our members come from a variety of economic, geographic and racial backgrounds. We have a wide range of age groups who participate. People know that their attendance is important and that they will be missed if they are not at church or church activities. The congregation has a history of strong commitment to Stewardship.
Describe the church property.
We own, free and clear, the church building, parish hall and the three acres on which they stand. The property has a small lake behind it and there is considerable open ground. This space has been used for wedding receptions, football games, parish picnics, and neighborhood activities.
I am looking for family records of relatives who lived in Berkley. What should I do?
The records of St. Paul’s, Berkley (1871-1908 and 1911-1923) and St. Thomas, Berkley (1887-1918, 1921-1922, and 1924-1934) have been microfilmed and are available from the Library of Virginia. The Virginia Beach Central Library also owns a copy. St. Bride’s church staff can look up church records as well, as time permits.