Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Episcopal Church Women (ECW)

An organization of all the women within Holy Comforter who affect the church's mission through a range of programs including prayer and outreach. The ECW at Holy Comforter has a long, strong tradition of offering spiritual, financial and physical support for the parish and diocesan programs as well as funding to local and International charities. Our purpose is to unite the women of Holy Comforter in a program of worship, study, service, discussion, and fellowship.

All ECW programs and projects are open to all women of the parish. We are a lively and vibrant group of women of all ages, committed to making a difference in the world we live in.

A History of Women in the Church:
In 1872, women of the church formed the Women's Auxiliary as a way to take part in church life. The organization enabled the women to apply their energy and imagination to church life in a range of ways and brought our leadership skills into the church. In 1958 the Auxiliary was renamed the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) to recognize the fact that women are an integral part of the church's life.

The History of the Holy Comforter ECW and Pennywise Thrift Shop:
Tired of raising money through bake sales, Lillian Croy founded the Pennywise Thrift Shop which enabled the ECW to become a major financial contributor to the church.  Pennywise provides 97 percent of the income of ECW.

The Funds:
ECW Income is used to support the church budget and almost every ministry and department within Holy Comforter. Thirty percent of the funds raised by ECW go to outside ministries either through the diocese or directly to local and international charities.

For more information, please contact Kathy Orchard-Hays.