The Church from Across the Street
The Episcopal Church of the Ascension is the northern-most parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, looking over the Delaware River and the Pennsylvania border in Claymont.
Started in a School
The roots of this congregation can be traced to 1843 and the missionary efforts of the Rev. Greenbury W. Ridgely and the Rt. Rev. Alfred Lee, who conducted services every other Sunday in the Claymont Stone School. The church was named for the Church of the Ascension in New York City and we were accepted into the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware as an organized congregation on May 28, 1851. The Rev. Ridgely was elected the first Rector. The first church building was erected on property donated by the Rev. John B. Clemson, on the corner of Church Lane and Philadelphia Pike and was consecrated by Bishop Lee on September 14, 1854. During the long and beloved leadership of the Rev. Charles Rantz the church building was moved across the street to its present location in 1927, and connected to the newly constructed stone parish hall.
During the long and beloved leadership of the Rev. Charles Rantz the church building was moved across the street to its present location in 1927, and connected to the newly constructed stone parish hall.
As the congregation prospered in the 1960s under the leadership of the Rev. John C. Scobell, the church was substantially enlarged. A new wing for Sunday School rooms and offices was also constructed. The nave and sanctuary were further renovated with the addition of a rose window over the altar and thirteen stained glass windows between 1979 and 2001.The organ was renovated and dedicated on May 18, 2003.
The congregation continues to flourish and to stay true to its original mission of proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ in service to our community.
It is one of the founding members of the Brandywine Collaborative Ministries.