Grace Episcopal Church, City Island, The Bronx


Grace Episcopal Church, City Island, The Bronx. Image 1

Grace Episcopal Church has served its nautical community since 1849. Through the dedication of the Rev. C.W. Bolton and his sister Adele Bolton, son and daughter of the Rev. Robert Bolton (builder and Rector of Christ Church in Pelham), our church was conceived and became a reality, bringing the Christian doctrine to (as described by the Rev. C.W. Bolton) a community of "800 souls almost entirely neglected and destitute of the means of grace." Luckily, through grace, our Island home has come far, and our small church has gathered a rich history in those years.

The dedication of our co-foundress, Adele Bolton, was shown through her weekly trips by rowboat (prior to our bridge being built), from Pelham to the island to minister to our small mission. "Finding the population of the island rapidly increasing, and growing up without the fear of God before their eyes, Miss Bolton, determined to exhert herself and appealed to her acquaintences for help, which was liberally responded to."

Grace Episcopal Church, City Island, The Bronx. Image 2

Her brother resigned in 1857 and was succeeded by the Rev. M. M. Dillon. In his report in 1862 he made the following references to the work on City Island: "A church is in the process of errection; $1,358.00 has been most generously contributed for this glorious purpose by the young ladies of the Pelham Priory, exclusive of $600.00 promised by the Islanders, one of whom, Mr. G.W. Horton, gave the land and $100.00 towards the funds. Miss Adele Bolton by her own efforts collected $944.00 for Grace Church. The building will cost $3,000.00. Already there is a good and active congregation and a flourishing Sunday School."

Local ship carpenters were hired to build the church and all you have to do is look upward to see their craftsmanship. With hand cut beams and rafters, if you turned the church on its roof, it would resemble a ships hull.

At the time the church was built all of the stained glass windows were created and installed by John Bolton (younger brother of William Bolton). Today, the only Bolton window that remains is the altar window. William Bolton (with whom John apprenticed) is know for bringing the art of figural stained glass to the Americas and in fact created the first figural stained glass window in America, which resides in our sister church,The Parish of Christ the Redeemer, in Pelham, New York.

based on the Official website
Contact info:
116 City Island Ave,
New York, NY 10464