Our History

Organized in 1883 by its founding rector, Fr. Edward Wallace-Neil, the Episcopal Church of St. Edward the Martyr is located in East Harlem near the northeast corner of Central Park. Architect George A. Bagge designed the Gothic church that was built in 1887. The church was expanded in 1903 by J.B. Snook & Sons, architects. The new decorations in the interior of the church, including the reredos, altar, stained glass, mosaic, marble and metal work, were designed and installed by J. & R. Lamb, under the supervision of Charles R. Lamb. The expansion was funded by Elbridge T. Gerry, then the senior warden of the parish.  


Saint Edward was the son of King Edgar the Peaceable, and succeeded to the throne of his father as King of England in 975 A.D. Of his character and piety we have this testimonial from Theodoric Paulus: “St. Edward was a young man of great devotion and excellent conduct; he was wholly … good and of holy life; moreover, above all things he loved God and the Church; he was generous to the poor, a haven to the good, a champion of the Faith of Christ, a vessel full of every virtuous grace.” He was an earnest supporter of the monastics in the life of the Church, as his father had been before him. But this aroused the displeasure of the powerful secular party within the Church, and the young king was brutally murdered in Dorset in 978 A.D. After his death, the miracles worked through his intercessions have confirmed the testimony of his pious life and martyrdom.