Holy Apostles was founded in 1844 as the result of an outreach by Trinity Church to immigrants who worked on the Hudson River waterfront to the west of the Church’s location in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, and social activism and the desire for social justice continue to be integral to our identity as a parish. In 1977, two of the first women priests in the Diocese of New York, one openly gay, were ordained at Holy Apostles. In 2003 many Holy Apostles members marched in opposition to the invasion of Iraq. In 2006, Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire preached to an overflow crowd on Gay Pride Sunday, and Holy Apostles has been an opponent of efforts to deny him, or any other gay priest, the right to be treated in accordance with our baptismal vows.
Although uniquely united in our commitment to inclusion and justice in and outside the church, the congregation is diverse in incomes, ages, careers, marital status and sexual orientation. Average Sunday attendance has been steady at 106-108 for 2005-2008 and membership has hovered at about 160 for the same period. About a third live in the immediate neighborhood and the balance elsewhere in Manhattan, the outer boroughs, or the suburbs. A significant number have graduate or professional degrees, but the Sunday congregation includes every educational level.