Grace Episcopal Church
Since 2021, Paragon Philharmonia has been featured as Ensemble-in-Residence at Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains, VA. Our musicians appreciate the welcoming spirit and community support that Grace has provided and look forward to another season of music-making!
Located in The Plains, Virginia, Grace Episcopal Church has a rich history that goes back to 1855. Originally one of three churches in Piedmont Parish, Grace became part of the newly formed Whittle Parish after the Civil War. In the late nineteenth century, a small group of worshippers from Grace established the Church of Our Savior at Little Georgetown (a few miles east of Grace Episcopal) and since 1966 the Little Georgetown Cemetery has been under stewardship of Grace Episcopal Church and the Little Georgetown Foundation.
The twentieth century brought a period of renewal for Grace Church during which the Rev. Dr. Edmund Lee Woodward, spearheaded the construction of the present stone structure. The church and parish hall were built of local stone given as free-will offerings and hauled from neighboring farms. The church, an excellent example of 13th century rural English Gothic architecture, was consecrated June 28, 1918.
In May of 2017, after a year-long search, the Rev. Weston Mathews was called to serve as the twenty-first rector of Grace Church. Weston has rekindled a spirit of love at Grace, has strengthened the church’s position in the community as a center for the arts, and has spearheaded the creation of Grace Montessori School, a faith-based Montessori school for children 18 months – 6 years old, which opened in the fall of 2019. Grace currently has partnerships with several arts organizations, including the Piedmont Singers, Shakespeare Opera Theatre, Dark Horse Theatre Company and Paragon Philharmonia and hosts a Concert Series as well as community art and music classes.