St. Philip's Church |1900 - 1950s
In 1908, St. Philip’s received a new rector whose ministry was destined to have a significant impact on both St.. Philip’s and the American Episcopal Church. The Rev. Edward Clowes Chorley (later Dr. Chorley when, in 1915, he received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Trinity College) was a man whose literary accomplishments included the History of St. Philip’s Church in the Highlands, Garrison, New York (available online or as a paperback reprint) as well as histories commemorating the Centennials of St. Bartholomew’s Church and St. Thomas’ Church in New York City.
Included among the many initiatives recorded during Dr. Chorley’s active ministry were: the replacement of gas lamps and candles in the church with electricity, the introduction of a boy’s choir, the founding of the Garrison Volunteer Fire Department, and the construction of the sexton’s home in 1917, which was funded by contributions from William Osborn and Stuyvesant Fish. Dr. Chorley also guided the church and its parishioners throughout the difficult years of the Depression.
Following Dr. Chorley’s retirement in 1940 (he moved from the rectory to a stone home at the end of Nelson Lane), St. Philip’s welcomed a new rector, the Reverend William M. Sharp. Mr. Sharp’s ministry spanned yet another difficult period, our nation’s entry into and participation in World War Two.
Despite the challenges and shortages of the war years, Mr. Sharp proved to be a capable and innovative rector. He was instrumental in returning educational activities to our church’s life in the form of a community kindergarten that was started in conjunction with the Garrison Union Free School. Kindergarten classes met in our Parish House for over fifteen years until they were moved across the street when the school’s facilities were expanded in the 1960s.
In the first fifty years of the twentieth century, the United States experienced two great wars. In World War One, fifty-six men from the parish served overseas, four of whom were killed. During World War Two, three servicemen from St. Philip’s gave their lives in service of our country. The names of those who served and those who died are honored and memorialized on plaques hanging in the church interior.