Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
The Episcopal Church »  |  The Diocese of Virginia

Mission Statement

The Church of the Holy Comforter exists to help our community and world know the transforming love of God in Jesus Christ. We welcome all people into a generous Christian community where they may encounter God’s transforming presence in worship, be formed with others in the way of Christ through intentional formation, and be empowered to live out their faith through engagement in God’s mission of healing and reconciliation in a rapidly changing world.

Church of the Holy Comforter

In 1895, Vienna was a small farming community, and like most such communities then, it had a tradition of worshiping and caring. For formal worship, Episcopalians had to travel on dirt roads to The Falls Church or to Zion (Truro) Church.

On May 6, 1895, the Vestry of The Falls Church invited Episcopalians in Vienna to elect three representatives to sit on their Vestry, and the Rector of The Falls Church, the Rev. Robert A. Castleman, came to Vienna on Sunday afternoons to hold services in Bouton Hall (where Pennywise Thrift Shop is now). Fr. Castleman’s successor, the Rev. John McGill, continued the “circuit ride” to Vienna, and also helped Vienna Episcopalians plan for a permanent church building. The Church (on west Maple Avenue), was completed in 1899, and Fr. McGill preached at its consecration in 1903.

Vienna shared priests with other local parishes until 1951, when the Rev. John F. Chalker became the first full-time rector. By then, the old church had become too small for the congregation, and the widening of Maple Avenue took most of the parking area. Under Rector H. Thompson Rodman (1955-1961), the church purchased the present 14 acre site on Beulah Road, and began to build. By 1958, the Rectory and the Parish Hall were completed, the old church was sold, and Fr. Rodman began regular services in the Parish Hall. In 1964, work commenced on the present church building, where the Rev. R. Robertson Kendall held the first services on April 4, 1965.

In 1988, the parish memorialized two of the priests who were especially influential in the founding and growth of the parish by naming the Parish Hall “McGill Hall,” and the Rectory “Rodman House.”

A major renovation and enlargement of the church was completed in 1992 to accommodate substantial growth, and, in 1998, a new chapel, St. Mary Chapel, was completed. But after a century, this church is still true to its roots–a worshiping community, and a caring community. This church continues to signify all that is implicit in its very name, The Church of the Holy Comforter.

We give thanks for the faith and works of the “cloud of witnesses” before us who, from a small mission parish in downtown Vienna to our current 14 acre site have made possible the opportunities we now have for ministry to the community around us.

Our dynamic and growing parish welcomes you to be part of this heritage.