Grants, 1971-1983

15 boxes, 7.5 linear feet

Historical Note:

In 1705, Queen Anne of England granted the struggling Trinity Church a large swath of land on the west side of Manhattan. Rented in the beginning for agricultural purposes, the income from the land grant hardly covered the cost of the Rector’s living expenses. But in time, as New York City pushed inexorably north, it became very profitable. The remaining properties of this bountiful gift today provide the funding for the Trinity Grants Program.

By the 1790s, Queen Anne’s land grant, also known as the Church Farm, had been divided into lots and leased. Petitions for aid from other churches began to pour in to the Vestry which responded generously, at times with land as well as funding. Recipients of land endowments include the former King’s College (now Columbia University), the Charity School (now Trinity School at 91st Street), and the Society for the Promotion of Religion and Learning. Trinity was enthusiastic about spreading the Episcopal Church throughout the state but provided aid to churches of other denominations as well.

During the 19th Century, the vestry routinely found itself spending more than it was taking in. It resolved several times to rein in spending but parish needs, the volatile real estate market, and gift-giving worked against it. By the mid-nineteenth century, the Church determined to restrict aid to the parish except for a select few outside churches and missions that Trinity had long and regularly supported. At the same time, Trinity resolved to devote its resources to missionary efforts in the lower Manhattan area. The neighborhood had much changed since Trinity’s founding, going from single family dwellings and shops to tenements and industry. Trinity missions sprouted--St. Chrysostom’s Chapel in 1864 in the vicinity of Trinity Chapel, the East Side mission, St Augustine’s Chapel, begun in 1869, and the Trinity Mission House in 1876. As time went on, the neighborhoods changed again, becoming less residential, and the missionary work was cut back.

In 1968, the Vestry formed a Committee on Gifts and Allowances to study requests for aid and make recommendations to the Vestry. For the first time, recipients of Grants were asked to submit a report on the grant’s usefulness. In 1970, when the Rector Dr. Butler was directing a major re-organization of the corporate structure, the Reverend G. H. “Jack” Woodard was hired as a consultant. The next year, Woodard helped organize a retreat that included the presiding Bishop, the Bishop of New York, members of the Trinity Vestry and outside advisors to formulate policies and procedures for a Trinity Grants Program. After the program had been approved, Woodard himself was appointed the first deputy for the Grants Department and the Vestry Committee on Gifts and Allowances was changed to the Grants Board. The new department focused on proposals that would offer a significant transitional effect upon the human condition. Early grants went to programs on race and poverty in the American South, and to seminaries and other means of clergy education. Overseas grants focused on the Anglican Communion in the Caribbean and Africa.

In 1976, Woodard was appointed Executive Assistant to the Rector while remaining head of Grants. The Executive Assistant to the Rector continued to manage the Grants program until 1987 when the incoming Rector Daniel Matthews had the Reverend James G. Callaway, who had been Executive Assistant to the previous Rector, appointed solely as Deputy of Grants.

Scope and Content Note:

This series contains the department head files as well as general office files on individual grants. The files of the first Deputy for Grants, Jack Woodard, also contain records on the development of the Grants Department.