Nearby St. Alban's Parish opened St. Patrick's as a mission chapel in the pre-automobile era. St. Alban's chose to name its mission chapels after saints of the British Isles (St. Alban was the first-known Christian martyr in England). After naming chapels after St. Columba (Scotland), St. George (England), and St. David (Wales), they chose to name their last chapel after the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick's was the first Episcopal church named after Patrick of Ireland in the western hemisphere. St. Patrick's Anglican Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland gifted ancient carved stones in honor of the new church. These stones were fashioned into the baptismal font completed in 1919 (see photo) which is now located in the main entry.
The original red brick chapel (see photo below right), completed in 1914, was located across from Greenwich Parkway on Foxhall Road, only two miles from St. Alban's. It was in the new Foxhall Village in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington. The chapel was torn down in 1935 because of a Foxhall Road widening project. The following year, a new Gothic chapel was built on the northeast corner of Greenwich Parkway and Foxhall Road.
St. Patrick's continued as a mission chapel until it became a self-supporting parish in 1946. The Rev. Ernest Warren was elected as the first Rector (member of the clergy charged with mission and vision for a Parish). In response to rapid growth, a new worship space was added in 1954 (see photo below left) and the 1936 building was converted into a classroom and fellowship hall. With this additional space, the Vestry (the governing board) founded St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in 1956.
The location on Foxhall and Reservoir Roads soon proved insufficient for the growing Parish, so the Vestry decided to move the Day School (in 1977) and then the entire Parish (in 1985) a few blocks north to Whitehaven Parkway. The 1985 Church Building, including the Nave and Chapel, received several design awards for its mixture of contemporary and traditional architecture. (see photo below right)
St. Patrick's parishioners were on the forefront of the civil rights movement in the 1960's, equality for women in the Episcopal Church in the 1970's, and, more recently, for same-sex marriage rights. In the past several years, we have explored the lingering effects of racism and spiritual and psychological problems of partisanship that is infecting every facet of our lives. We strive to be a safe place for all people to discuss diverse issues in a polarized environment. In the future, as in the past, St. Patrick’s strives to enrich lives and to respond to God's call to make the world a better place.
Since our first service in October of 1911, children have been an important part of our mission. Our Day School, youth groups, children and youth choirs, and Sunday School (see Sunday School picture from the 1930s above) are examples of how we continue to live out this call.
Today, the Church has over 600 members and our Day School serves over 500 students from PK - Grade 8. We are a place where everyone knows your name. Please introduce yourself. We are looking for more people to join our family.
Our mission is to proclaim that all people are created in God’s image, redeemed through God’s son Jesus Christ, and sanctified in the Holy Spirit. We are an inclusive community, committed to service based on deep gratitude for God’s blessings. We feel especially called to serve children, a commitment expressed through our parish school and programs.