Trinity Wall Street is an Episcopal parish that has been a part of New York City since 1697. Located on Broadway at the head of Wall Street, Trinity stands as a symbol of spiritual values in the midst of downtown’s thriving financial district and residential community. It is deeply rooted in the city’s and the nation’s history.
Established during the British occupation of New York and recognized by royal charter, Trinity was the first Anglican Church (which followed the services of the Church of England and included the King or Queen in its prayers) in Manhattan. After the Revolutionary War, Trinity helped form the Episcopal Church of America. The current building is the third on the site and was consecrated in 1846.
A number of Episcopal churches in New York were founded originally as Trinity chapels before becoming independent. St. Paul’s Chapel, at Broadway and Fulton Street, remains part of the parish today. Built in 1766, George Washington prayed there after his inauguration as President in 1789. Located just across the street from the World Trade Center, St. Paul’s played an important role in hosting recovery workers after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
At the heart of Trinity Wall Street is a 1,000-strong congregation, which carries out a wide-ranging ministry overseen by the Congregational Council. Members of the Parish come from around New York City and the tri-state area. The congregation is one of the most diverse in the city, hosting people from all walks of life. The congregation is also made up of people who work in offices nearby. The Parish offers a total of 27 services throughout the week.
Trinity has a strong tradition of music and arts programming. The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, a Grammy®-nominated professional ensemble, helps lead Sunday worship and performs concerts of early and contemporary music throughout the fall and spring. Many concerts are webcast on the internet and are often heard on WQXR, New York’s classical music station. The Choir performs with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and NOVUS NY, the contemporary music ensemble. Trinity has several weekly music offerings including: Bach at One, featuring Bach’s cantatas; Pipes at One, presenting professional organists in recital; and Concerts at One, with diverse music from a variety of artists. In addition, Trinity’s Family Choir sings regularly on Sunday mornings.
Trinity Museum, inside Trinity Church, features an exhibit about the history of Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel. The museum hosts occasional special exhibits. At St. Paul’s Chapel there is an exhibit about the volunteer ministry that formed there to help rescue and recovery workers after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Trinity and St. Paul’s also have historic churchyards that are the final resting place of a number of notable people, including Alexander Hamilton, Robert Fulton and a number of statesmen, inventors, judges, printers, soldiers, ministers, and others that had a hand in shaping Trinity, New York City, and the nation. Together, both churches average about 3 million visitors a year.
Trinity’s Faith Formation group offers a range of theological education for both clergy and lay people on Sundays, during the week, and through its annual Trinity Institute® conference. Trinity Institute brings renowned speakers to Trinity to address timely topics such as how theology relates to the environment or the economy. Beyond the local audience, the conference is webcast and reaches national and international viewers.
In addition to webcasting concerts, conferences, and other special events, the Parish webcasts all Sunday morning and weekday services from Trinity, enabling services to reach viewers worldwide. All of this content can be found on trinitywallstreet.org, an award-winning website that features blogs, news stories, and a calendar of events at the parish.
Trinity’s Faith in Action is the grant-making arm of the organization, investing in local and global churches and organizations. In addition to providing assistance for projects in metropolitan New York, Trinity has a strong commitment to partnerships with Africa’s Anglican churches, as well as parishes and bishops in Panama, New Orleans, and Haiti, among others. In an effort to “raise the next generation of leaders,” Trinity supports initiatives that promote spiritual formation and development in the Episcopal and Anglican churches and advocates for support of public schools in the neighborhoods of church parishes.
The Parish’s outreach in downtown New York includes: St. Margaret’s House, a 251-unit subsidized apartment building on Fulton Street for elderly and disabled residents; Charlotte’s Place, a free space with wifi, computer access, books, music, a conference room, and neighborhood resources that is open during the week from 12-2pm and for other special programming; and a Brown Bag Lunch program that serves lunch to those in need every Tuesday and Thursday outside of Trinity Church. Trinity also operates an award-winning preschool.
Because of a land grant from Queen Anne in 1705, Trinity is an important New York property owner. Trinity Real Estate owns and operates more than six million square feet of space in 18 commercial buildings, mostly located in the Hudson Square district about a mile north of Trinity and St. Paul’s. As the primary landlord in the area, Trinity has played a leading role in transforming the neighborhood from light industrial to modern office use. The revenue from Trinity's real-estate holdings makes much of the parish’s mission and ministry work possible and provides for the upkeep of Trinity and St. Paul’s.