The History of Our Parish

Old sketch.jpg

It all started when…


With the donation of five acres of land in south end Santa Fe in 1956, the Church of the Holy Faith in downtown Santa Fe took a critical step in fulfilling their dream of establishing the mission that would become St. Bede’s.  The initial service of the new congregation was held at Odd Fellows’ Hall in July of 1962. St. Bede’s grew from 40 worshippers to 100 within a year, and two years later Bishop Kinsolving, turned the first shovelful of earth for building St. Bede’s Episcopal Church with the following words:

“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 the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.” (The Southwest Churchman, January 1964)

The design of St. Bede’s was significantly influenced by Native American drafting students who collaborated with Kip Merker, the young architect and designer of St. Bede’s.  The Native American students met with the Reverend William Crews, first Vicar of St. Bede’s, at the construction site during the design phase of the project.  Students then created a small model of the new church, since lost.

St. Bede’s sanctuary, where services are held, has an eight-sided design that suggests a Navajo hogan, with the exception that it does not open to the east.  While the construction of the church was planned to be in two phases, the initial build funding was depleted in the first phase, the Common Room. Therefore, that room served as the sanctuary. A small Common Room, nursery, and classroom were added in the 1980s.  (Ref. Drum Beats, Vol. II, No. 1, IAIA monthly publication)

In 2017, an extensive renovation and expansion of the original 1960s building was begun. It was completed in the fall of 2018.

Rectors, Vicars, and Priests-in-Charge of St. Bede’s

The Rev. William E. Crews 1962 – 1967

The Rev. John Miner 1967 – 1969

The Rev. John Kinsolving 1969 – 1977

The Rev. Dr. Norman Alexandre 1978 – 1985

The Rev. C. Robbins Clark 1986 – 1993

The Rev. Michael Milligan 1994 – 1995

The Rev. Michael Moore 1995 – 1997

The Rev. Dr. Richard W. Murphy 1997 – 2011

The Rev. Nicolette Papanek 2012 – 2013

The Rev. Catherine Volland 2014 –