Grace Episcopal Church is a family of believers who make our home in the heart of Hutchinson, KS. We are an Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Western Kansas that has been worshiping together since 1879. Together we worship, we serve others, we grow in faith and love of Christ, and we strengthen and support one another through all of life's ups and downs. At Grace we are a diverse community who share a deep love for the richness and history of our liturgy, coupled with a desire to remain connected to a modern and constantly-changing world. We welcome all who enter our doors. Wherever you come from, whatever your age, whomever you love, however you believe, you are always welcome here.
On June 25, 1879, Bishop Vail officiated the first worship service of Grace Episcopal Church, which was held in the local Presbyterian Church with 22 active members. At the time, the town of Hutchinson was only 8 years old, with a population of 1,900. The congregation became a parish in 1882, and called its first rector. By the turn of the century 22 Hutchinson families called Grace Episcopal Church their home.
The small parish had big dreams, and began to expand rapidly. In 1891 the parish purchased a piece of land in Hutchinson for $250. For another $350, they moved an existing building from the nearby town of Nickerson to serve as the first church building in Hutchinson.
By 1947, the parish had outgrown its small building and purchased land at the corner of Hyde Park and Main Street, where the church still stands today. It took six years before the church was able to break ground and another full year of construction. The children of Grace Episcopal Church were the first group to contribute to the Building Fund, donating $79.48. The first service was held in the new building on August 31, 1952.
At that time, the High Altar was a temporary altar and the medallion on the altar was hand carved by Father Croft, the Rector. A permanent one soon replaced it. The medallion now hangs over the back doors on the balcony screen. The St. Margaret's Chapel was originally designed to be a smaller version of the original church. The altar, stained glass windows over the altar and the communion rail were in the original church on Maple and 1st Street.
The eagle lectern that stands near the altar and also came from the original church,has heard many lessons read throughout the years. The fiddle-back Roman Chasuble is about 150 to 200 years old, the Russian Orthodox Cope is about 500 years old and the prayer books we use were adopted in 1976, but contain prayers that reach back almost 1800 years.
The meeting and kitchen facilities were moved from the undercroft to the main floor when our new fellowship hall and kitchen addition was built in the 1970’s. Upstairs, plenty of room for Sunday School Classes replaced an old two story house that was torn down to make room for off-street parking. An office addition was added in 2000, and our Memorial Garden and outdoor Columbarium were added several years later—it is a wonderful place to admire the flowers or have a moment of prayer or meditation.