St. David's Church (Radnor, Pa.) records

The records of St. David’s Church span three hundred years, from 1706 to 2006, with some materials lacking dates. The bulk of the collection dates to the late twentieth century. The records offer insight into the activities of the parishioners, the responsibilities of the different parish committe...

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Bibliographic Details
Corporate Author: St. David's Church (Radnor, Pa.) (Creator)
Collection:St. David's Church (Radnor, Pa.) Records
Collection Number:1478
Format: Manuscript
Subjects and Genres:
Online Access:Link to finding aid
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Item Description: Processing Information: Box 21 contains sermons from Series 3 that are still in need of extensive conservation and are not serviceable to researchers.
Physical Description: 15.0 Linear feet ; 30 boxes, 34 volumes, 15 flat files
Access: The collection is open for research.
Summary: The records of St. David’s Church span three hundred years, from 1706 to 2006, with some materials lacking dates. The bulk of the collection dates to the late twentieth century. The records offer insight into the activities of the parishioners, the responsibilities of the different parish committees and groups (e.g., the vestry), the tenures of the clergy persons, and the history of the church. The records have been divided into four series – Administration, Parish history, Sermons of Thomas G. Clemson, and Printed materials and images. The majority of the collection can be found in the administration series and the smallest amount of materials is found in the parish history series. The collection totals thirty boxes, with the originally- processed portion in Boxes 1 to 22 and recently-proccessed additions in Boxes 23 to 30; thirty-four volumes; and fifteen flat files. The first series, Administration, is comprised of six subseries (Registers; Vestry committee; Other committees; Financial and legal; Clergy files; Miscellaneous) and spans 1706 to 2005. It represents the largest and most comprehensive series in the collection. The registers encompass the parish’s service records, registers of the different ceremonies performed at the church (e.g., marriages, baptisms), and guest registers, which contain visitor information. The vestry committee records as well as the third subseries of other committees are comprised mainly of meeting minutes and a small amount of correspondence. The fourth subseries in Administration consists of a small amount of financial and legal papers pertaining to the church. The fifth subseries, Clergy files, is a record of many of the clergy persons who have held positions at St. David’s Church for three centuries. The files are in alphabetical order according to clergy person and the materials and biographies appear to have been compiled around 2002. The last subseries contains miscellaneous items including architectural papers, correspondence, and donations and memorials for the church. Books, other printed materials, and notes on the history of St. David’s Church have been placed in the second series, Parish history. Two figures are represented among these materials, Francis James Dallett, and Henry Pleasants, both of whom compiled notes on the history of the church and published works about St. David’s. Of note is Dallett’s research concerning Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote a poem about his visit to the church in the nineteenth century. The papers concerning several parish anniversary celebrations have been placed in this series. The third series, Sermons of Thomas G. Clemson, is comprised of five boxes of Clemson’s sermons mainly from 1859 to 1881 and several letters from the late twentieth century discussing his sermons. There are a group of sermons that are in poor condition and, since they need further repairs, are not available for research at this time. Printed materials and images consists mainly of the publications of St. David’s Church – The Record, Newsletter, and The Dove. There is also a great number of photographs in this series, mostly of the exterior and interior of the church from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A scrapbook containing pictures of the church and articles about the church created by Francis James Dallett in 1978 has been placed in this series. Other pictures in this series are scanned photographs from parish events. Most of the materials in this collection, including vestry minutes, the publications, photographs, donations and memorials information, and the clergy files, have been saved to compact discs (Boxes 22 and 30). Many of these CDs were most likely created in 2002 in preparation for the donation of some materials to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by a parish committee. They have been placed in this series.
The cornerstone for St. David’s Church was laid in 1715 by a group of Welsh settlers in what is currently Radnor Township. During the Revolutionary War, the parish faced turmoil and the absence of a minister for the parishioners. By 1788, the parish once again had leadership, and in 1792, Reverend William Currie incorporated the parish and drew up a charter. The parish continued to grow as railroad lines brought urban dwellers to areas like Radnor that surrounded Philadelphia. For the next century, the parish would erect buildings to accommodate its constituency, providing the parishioners with a new rectory, chapel, parish house, and education building. Currently, the church attends to the religious needs of over one thousand families and holds many events, including an annual fair and auction. The records of St. David’s Church span from 1706 to 2006 and offer insight into the activities of the parishioners and history of the church in Radnor, Pennsylvania. This collection consists of meeting minutes, correspondence, clergy profiles, sermons, histories of the parish, publications, and a variety of images of the church and events. The majority of the records relate to the various church committees, especially the vestry committee, and the sermons of Reverend Thomas G. Clemson.