History Of The Parish

 A Brief History of St. Francis’ Episcopal Church

1922 Men and women from the area west of Twin Peaks met in Westwood Park for a service of Evening Prayer.
May 7, 1925 From this group, St. Francis’ Guild was organized. This small group of sixteen women was actually the agent that finally created the active mission that would become St. Francis’ Church.
September 1926 The first vestry was elected. The property at Ocean Avenue at San Fernando Way was purchased for $11,500.
February 1, 1927 The mission was formally organized as a mission of the Diocese.
May 6, 1928 Ground was broken for the new Parish Hall, which is now the Church.
1930 St. Francis’ Community Church was admitted to the Diocese as a parish.
1931 The Guild Hall was completed. Many community groups used the facilities as part of the original purpose for the church as a house of worship and a community center.
1940 The Church School had increased to 327 students with twenty teachers. Easter Day 1940 witnessed the largest crowd to date with 420 chairs filled, 100 standing, and 30 boys in the choir.
September 8, 1940 Ground was broken for the new parish hall.
March 1941 The Parish Hall was ready. Church services were held in the hall for a few Sundays until the altered church was ready for use. The church as we have it today was used for the first time on Easter Day 1941.
Christmas Eve 1944 The rector wore Eucharistic vestments for the first time in the history of the parish.
September 28, 1947 The St. Francis statue was placed in the pulpit niche.
1949 The south-side cloister was made an inside part of the church building and was rededicated the Baptistry Chapel in 1950.
1950 The cloister along San Fernando Way was changed to provide room for construction of the office building for the rector and church staff.
1951 The sanctuary was changed to what we see today. It was blessed in 1954.
1960 Parish facilities were formally approved for use in wedding receptions. However, a Vestry policy was established that “no alcoholic beverages be served or consumed at social functions held on its premises.”
1965 The first woman was elected to the Vestry.
1969 The Organ Committee of the parish recommended purchase of a Werner Bosch organ for approximately twenty-six thousand dollars plus the freight from Germany.
1970 The rector and his assistant took over Episcopal chaplaincy duties at Laguna Honda Home.
1973 A marble carving of St. Francis of Assisi created by Ruth Cravath was installed at the rear of the church.
1984 The Thrift Shop opened.

Information for this brief history was taken from “A House of Prayer for All People: A Short History of St. Francis’ Episcopal Church, San Francisco, California, 1927-1987” by The Rev. Robert Louis Semes.