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A closer look: One Hillsborough church

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 15, 2003

St. Chad's Episcopal Church

LOCATION: 5609 N Albany Ave., Tampa; 872-7545.

SERVICES: Holy Eucharist at 9 a.m. on Sunday

LEADERSHIP: Father Christian Villagomeza

HISTORY: A congregation of 16 members started the small mission church. The first service was on All Saints' Day, Nov. 1, 1953. The church purchased a building on N Armenia Avenue in 1954 where services were held until it moved to its current location. Groundbreaking service was April 14, 1957. A four-inch square stone, cut from the original structure of the Cathedral of St. Peter of York, is imbedded in the altar at St. Chad's. Dating from the cathedral's construction between 1154 and 1256, it was engraved with a Maltese cross and donated to St. Chad's by the archbishop of York, Michael Ramsey. This follows the custom of obtaining a dedicatory stone from a place or region where one's patron saint lived. The church was named for Saint Chad (Cedda), a Celtic monastic who became Bishop of York in 664 A.D. and Bishop of Lichfield in 669.


COMMUNITY OUTREACH: St. Chad's is a SHARE select site; SHARE offers savings on groceries to those who volunteer two hours each month. The church offers Over 50's Group meetings on the fourth Wednesday each month and provides meeting space for Alcoholics Anonymous on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Youth activities include visiting children at Shriner's Hospital and residents of the Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center and fundraising for Meals on Wheels. The church is expanding its outreach ministries to include Parish Nursing and Health Ministries. Its annual fall bazaar will be Nov. 8. Other outreach programs it supports include Jesse's Children, a Dominican Republic mission group; Compassion; Seafarer's Ministries, Metropolitan Ministries, Toys for Tots, Bishop Grey Inns and the Department of Children and Families holiday projects.

NOTABLE: The church will celebrate its 50th anniversary Nov. 2. Also, an anniversary banquet is planned for Nov. 15. The slogan for the celebrations is "We've come this far by faith."

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