GROUND BREAKING FOR SAINT BEDE’S
from THE SOUTHWEST CHURCHMAN January 1964
“For as much as devout and faithful people have taken in hand to build on this ground now marked with the symbol of Christ, a House to be dedicated to the glory of God, to be known as St. Bede’s, wherein the Gospel shall be truly preached, the Sacraments duly administered, and the service of Prayer and Praise offered in this and coming generations: Therefore I break ground for this church; in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
With these words Bishop Kinsolving turned the first shovelful of earth for the breaking of the ground for St. Bede’s, the youngest of the diocesan missions, on Sunday afternoon, October 27, 1964, at Santa Fe.
The establishment of the mission had been a long-time dream of the Church of the Holy Faith in Santa Fe. With this project in view, the church bought a plot of five acres in southern Santa Fe, in 1956.
On July 2, 1962, a nucleus congregation, the Vestry of Holy Faith, and interested parishioners gathered to hear The Rev. Henry Seaman, Holy Faith’s Rector, Mr. William Gilbert, Mr. Albert Warner, The Rev. William Crews, then Assistant at Holy Faith, and Bishop Kinsolving lay out the whys, hows and hopes of the new mission. The first service was held on July 15, 1962.
The name chosen for the new mission was St. Bede’s; the meeting place the Odd Fellows’ Hall; the Vicar, the Rev. William E. Crews. Starting with some forty families, within a year the congregation had grown to 100 families and the need of permanent quarters became apparent. Construction started immediately after the groundbreaking and the first building was dedicated in October 1965.
A Bit of History
By Shirley McNally
One Sunday in February 2014, Maile Cuddy’s daughter Gracie Schild accompanied her mother to the 10:30 am service at St. Bede’s, bringing with her an article about our history that solves what has been something of a mystery: Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) student involvement in the planning of our building at 1601 So. St. Francis. That there was some influence has been affirmed by Native American parishioners since early days. The eight-sided design of what was originally the Common Room but has been for many years the Nave, suggests a stylized Navajo Hogan, although the entrance is not toward the east as traditionally required.
Gracie Schild is Advancement Services Coordinator of the Institute of American Indian Arts. As such, she has access to early issues of Drum Beats, the IAIA monthly publication. This is what the article says:
Drafting Students Help Plan New Building
Miss Kay Wiest, drafting and photography instructor, announces that the drafting students are presently working on drawings of the new St. Bede’s Episcopal Church to be located in Santa Fe. The students are studying details of structural design and construction. A small model of the new church is on dis-play in the classroom.
As part of the project, the students have gone to the site of St. Bedes for an “on the sight” inspection tour. Reverend William Crews, well known to IAIA students and staff, visited the area with the class and ex-plained the functions of the new building.
IAIA drafting students will also have an opportunity to study the plans for the build-ings to be constructed on a beautiful campsite for the Church.
Mr. Kip Merker, a young and successful local architect, is the designer of St. Bedes plans. He is scheduled to visit the drafting classroom early next week to go over each plan on which the students are working.
[Vol. II, No. 1]
A date of 1966 has been attached to the article, indicating a “look back” at IAIA and St. Bede’s history, since the building was completed earlier. Records and a narrative by original members show that the property was purchased by Holy Faith in 1956; on July 15, 1962, the mission held its first meeting in the Odd Fellows Hall on Cerrillos Road; on October 27, 1963, ground was broken on San Mateo Street. The “first phase” of the building was dedicated August 23, 1964. The planned second phase and further construction were never accomplished.
What happened to the model of the building? How much influence did the students have? Who were they? Did the young architect create other buildings in Santa Fe? Because Father William Crews (our first vicar and our founder) is still alive and living in Denver, perhaps we can discover even more of our early history besides the church history written in 1983 and revised in 2007.