There's a place for you here.

New to Richmond? Unfamiliar with the Episcopal Church, or with Christianity? Welcome.

Whoever you are, wherever you are in your spiritual journey, the people of St. Stephen's Church hope that your experience with this church will encourage and strengthen you.

As you browse our Web site, you might consider: 

  • visiting St. Stephen's for a worship service 
  • coming to an informal supper
  • stopping by the Farmers Market on Saturday morning
  • attending one of our receptions or lunches for visitors and newcomers (info here
  • signing up for an Inquirers Class
  • subscribing to St. Stephen's weekly email, the eSpirit; there is no cost, no obligation, and we will not share your email address with any outside group
  • attending a retreat, workshop or group, or participating in any of the other offerings you'll see on these pages. 

Do as much or as little as you like. There are no "requirements" for being a part of this community of faith. If you wish to be baptized or confirmed, or to transfer your membership from another Episcopal parish, we'd love for you to do so. But it's not required. Everything we do, everything we offer, is open to all, regardless of whether you are a "member" of this church. If you're here, you belong.

Here's an online visitor card: it's not required--it just helps us to be more responsive to you!

Our Services

St. Stephen's is a vibrant parish that offers worship, prayer and more seven days a week. Sunday, of course, is our big day. You are most welcome at any of the services held here.

Sunday Worship 

  • 8:00 a.m., Holy Eucharist: Rite One
  • 9:00 a.m., Holy Eucharist: Rite Two*
  • 11:15 a.m., Holy Eucharist, Rite Two*
  • 5:30 p.m., Celtic Evensong and Communion*
  • 6:30 p.m., Sunday Community Supper
  • 8:00 p.m., Compline
*indicates child care available through age 4

Weekday worship 

  • 8:10 a.m., Morning Prayer with Communion
  • 5:30 p.m., Evensong (Sung Evening Prayer) 

Saturday worship

  • 5:30 p.m., Holy Eucharist: Rite Two


There are several entrances to the church and parish house that are designed to be accessible to those with mobility issues or other physical limitations:

All entrances to the church, and the main entrance to the parish house, are equipped with power-assist doors. In addition, the main entrance to the parish house, from the large parking lot, has an elevator on the ground floor that allows you to bypass the steps. The Grove Avenue entrance to the main church is gently sloped, without steps, and the Three Chopt Road entrance has a ramp

Inside the church, several pews are shortened to allow space for a wheelchair or walker: the first pews on either side of the center aisle, nearest the altar, and the pews near the large baptismal font.

The church is equipped with assistive hearing devices for the hearing-impaired. Please ask an usher for one of these devices as you enter the church.

Nursery - Senior High

St. Stephen's Church has an active ministry for children and youth, staffed by an energetic and talented family ministries staff and dedicated, well-trained volunteers. Michael Sweeney, the director of family ministries, sends a regular email newsletter to parents for which you may sign up.


At St. Stephen's, young people who desire to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church may do so in the ninth grade or later. They are prepared in a year-long course called "Philip's Way," and confirmation takes place when one of our bishops visits St. Stephen's, usually in May.

Are you in your 20-30s?

Young adults are part of every facet of parish life at St. Stephen's, and you are always welcome at any worship service, adult education opportunity or social event—membership is NOT required. You (and your friends and family) are always welcome here. Single or married, with children or not, in school or not--all are welcome.

Get Connected

Some activities and ministries at St. Stephen's are designed especially for young adults, including a young adult Bible study group, social gatherings, retreats, and outreach and volunteer opportunities. The best way to keep up with what young adults are doing at St. Stephen's is to sign up for our e-newsletter.

A Fellowship

One of the distinctive things about being an Episcopalian is the sense of connection and fellowship one has with other Episcopalian Christians. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is part of the Diocese of Virginia, one of the oldest and largest dioceses in the Episcopal Church.

Our diocese includes 80,000 people who worship God and reach out to others in 181 parishes in 38 counties in central, northern and northwestern Virginia. It is one of three Episcopal dioceses in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the others being the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia (based in Roanoke) and the Diocese of Southern Virginia (based in Norfolk). You can read more about the Diocese of Virginia at


Sunday Schedule

Holy Eucharist: 8:00, 9:00, 11:15

Christian Education for all ages: 10:10 (returning September)


6000 Grove Avenue Richmond, VA 23226

Poetry at St. Stephen's

A noted theologian, Karen Armstrong, has said that all good theology is really a species of poetry, attempts to express the inexpressible. And it just doesn’t work to try to read poetry or listen to a great piece of music when you are at a cocktail party.  You need quiet and a still, open heart. And it could take several readings and listenings for the words or the music to enter that space where transformation can begin.

Perhaps we need to approach religious and spiritual musings in this way.  It’s why silence, solitude, and contemplation have always been central to the enduring religions of the world.  But today, our lives are so noisy and busy, we don’t have time or patience for these things. Many sometimes revert to more combative sloganeering or insistence on believing in certain doctrines, and we’ve see where that leads.

By contrast, theology can be more like poetry, a way of seeking to open oneself to the transcendent and inexpressible, deepest truths of our lives. Poetry itself is a kind of theology, inviting us to experience what cannot be fully spoken. So when we see how true theology is more like poetry, it starts to make sense that religious practice is at least as important as religious belief.  Being disciplined about giving to the poor, practicing daily prayer, going on pilgrimage, caring for the sick and dying: “Religion is about doing things that change you,” in Karen Armstrong’s words.

You don’t have to be “into” poetry for it to be valuable. Just as you don’t have to be “into” Bach or Beethoven for that music to be valuable. The rewards of giving oneself to these things and allowing them to work on you can be life-changing.

St. Stephen's Church offers poetry and reflections on poetry in worship (as with the opening of each Sunday evening Celtic service), poetry readings (visiting poets are listed here), a weekly poetry guide, "Wellspring," offered during the program year (available here), and through our bookshop.

Allison Seay, St. Stephen’s associate for religion and the arts, says, “I think that poetry readings are vital to the emotional health of a community because they offer us new ways of thinking, they recharge the imagination, and they remind us of the value of listening.”

“The riches of poetry are universal and unifying and offer us a way to think about the unexplained, the difficult, and the otherwise unsayable. For me, poetry is not a luxury, but a necessity.”

It is blood, imagination, intellect running together...It bids us to touch and taste and hear and see the world, and shrink from all that is of the brain only.

Yeats on poetry