The Episcopal Diocese
of New York

1047 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025
Tel: (212) 316-7400

The New York Altar Guild

A Philanthropic Organization Serving the Needs of Churches and Institutions throughout the Anglican Communion by providing Vestments and Altar Furnishings


A Philanthropic Organization Serving the Needs of Churches and Institutions throughout the Anglican Communion by providing Vestments and Altar Furnishings.

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Statement of Purpose

The New York Altar Guild has been dedicated for over 100 years  to providing for the altar needs of the Cathedral, parishes, chapels, missions and related institutions in the Diocese of New York, and  the wider Anglican Communion beyond. Our objective is to meet the needs of churches so that all persons can worship in dignity and beauty.

New York Altar Guild Cycle

Through its Grants Program established in 2013, the Guild assists parishes with larger projects in keeping with its mission. Such projects might include refurbishing an organ, new cabinetry in a sacristy, repair of stained glass, etc. The average grant awarded in the past has been in the neighborhood of $3,000; preference is given to proposals that address the needs of those parishes least able to help themselves.

Submission of the grant application form for the 2024 Grants Program cycle begins September 2023 and ends February 1, 2024. Awards will be announced following the Guild’s April 2024 Board Meeting. See PDF tab: 2024 Grant Guidelines and Application above. 


2023 Workshop



On Saturday, October 21, 2023, The Parish of Calvary – St. George’s Church in Manhattan hosted the 9th NYAG workshop . There were over 61 attendees from 23 parishes. At the morning program held in Calvary’s Anderson Hall, Steve Schimmele, the church verger, gave an illuminating overview of the 1975 merger and historical missions of three landmark churches in the same vicinity in Lower Manhattan: Calvary, Holy Communion and St. George’s. Four years after the merger, the Church of the Holy Communion was deconsecrated. Today, the sanctuaries of Calvary and St. George’s each serve the present-day parish.

Following the verger’s address, The Reverend Molly Jane Layton, Associate Rector of Calvary – St. George’s spoke. Her topic was Altar Presentation or Table: Our Words and How They Impact Our Service. In her presentation she traced a long and intriguing history of various altar settings. At the end of her talk she linked the use of these altars from the past to the present with the Eucharist words in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. These words in the Prayer Book invite communicants to both “sacrifice and keep the feast.” At noontime the Reverend Layton preached and presided at the Eucharist in Calvary’s sanctuary.

During lunch a question-and-answer session was conducted. The questions asked related to the care and repair of altar and vestments, and other liturgical needs and furnishings.

Altar Guild Reserve Closet

The New York Altar Guild maintains a Reserve Closet that serves as a clearing house for receiving and distributing vestments, altar linens and other furnishings. In addition, when parishes request items that are not available in the Reserve Closet, the Guild arranges for their purchase. See PDF tab: Request and Donation Form (July 2023) above.


The New York Altar Guild was founded in 1903 to serve the chapels of prisons, children’s homes and hospitals. The original group of indomitable women struggled against city bureaucracy in their efforts to establish suitable places of worship in such institutions. The work soon extended beyond Diocesan boundaries in response to appeals from a variety of churches and church organizations, missions in this country and elsewhere, and even to transatlantic passenger ships. The group continues to respond to a wide variety of Church needs. We celebrated our 110th Anniversary in November 2013.


The New York Altar Guild welcomes new members, men and women, who share our vision and want to support our work. Meetings are held October through May, excluding December, at the House of the Redeemer, 7 East 96th Street, New York City.  

Annual Membership Dues:
  Individual – $40; Patron – $75; Associate Altar Guild – $50 to $75. Individual Lifetime Membership available at $750.  
The New York Altar Guild Mailing address:
P.O. Box 881,
NY 12545
Phone: 845-677-6401 E-mail: nyaltarguild@dioceseny.org  
Reserve Closet maintained at The House of Redeemer 7 East 95th Street New York, NY 10128

Board of Directors


Virginia Lief, President

Patricia L. Ranson, 1st V. President
Henry R. Garner, Jr., 2nd V. President
(position vacant) Recording Secretary
Charlotte Barnard, Assisting Recording Secretary
Barbara N. Lindsley, Corresponding Secretary
(position vacant) Treasurer

Lois E. Butler, Assistant Treasurer

Board Members

Deacon Jean Marie Angelo
Margaret German
David Holkeboer
The Rev. Molly Jane Layton
Timothy M. Lively
Ann M. Vitale

Member Emerita

Karen L. Sisk