St. George St. Barnabas Episcopal Church is a dynamic multicultural predominately African American parish located in the Cobbs Creek community of West Philadelphia. Having been a mission church of the Episcopal Diocese for the past several decades, a crowning achievement was obtaining Parish Status in 2010. Under the leadership of the Rev. James E. Wynn for 16 years, the church has grown in its understanding of the Lord, stewardship, and in membership. Our 2016 Parochial Report lists 92 active baptized members. Average Sunday attendance is about 79 people. A strong vestry works cooperatively to support the rector, and the parish is blessed with strong lay leadership.
During this discernment process and as a result of a survey of our membership and congregational forums, we have learned the following about our parish. Approximately 63% of our congregants have been members of the church for more than 20 years; approximately 57% travel 15 minutes or less to attend St. George St. Barnabas; and while we are a graying parish, we are active, growing, and engaged. Specifically, 60% of respondents to our parish survey indicated that they are involved in one or more church organizations, and almost 40% indicated that their involvement has increased in the past several years. 55% of respondents’ report that they attend church four or more times a month; 87% find Sunday worship meaningful; and 55% of respondents noted that they have invited two or more people to church in the past year. Lay leadership is strong: 90% of survey respondents believe that there are equal opportunities for congregants to hold leadership positions in the church; 98% report that church members and leaders work together to make important decisions; and 92% believe that members help each other in times of trouble. Church morale is high; congregants are overwhelmingly comfortable with their church; and 100% of respondents note that it is easy to tell their friends what is unique about St. George St. Barnabas.