The Little Church Around The Corner

Story told by Rev’d Derek Perry

The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, situated just off Fifth and Madison Avenue in New York, was consecrated in 1861. The rather lovely story is told that in 1870 an actor’s great friend, also an actor, died. His friend went to
see the minister of the local non-conformist church in order to make arrangements for the funeral. When the minister discovered that the deceased was a member of what was then considered to be a highly disreputable profession, he refused to allow the service to take place in his church. He then said ‘Well, you could always try the little church around the corner, to which the mourning friend joyfully replied ‘thank God for the little church around the corner’ and immediately hurried off to see the Vicar. The service was arranged and from then on the church became The Little Church Around the Corner.

The Church of the Transfiguration, so close to Broadway, is now known by tradition as the actors’ church. Its beautiful stained-glass windows are dedicated to past actors.

P.G. Wodehouse, the well-known humourist, wrote the following poem in his story ‘Bring on the Girls.’

There’s a church around the corner that’s waiting for us:

It’s just above Madison Square.
I’ll borrow a dollar and buy a clean collar, And then I’ll be meeting you there.
There’ll be crowds in the pews and excitement

and fuss,
For I mean to be married in style,
And the girls will go dizzy and whisper ‘Who is

When I start to step up on the aisle.

Dear little, dear little Church Round the Corner,

Where so many lives have begun,
Where folks without money see nothing that’s

In living cheaper than one.
Our hearts to each other we’ve trusted: We’re busted, but what do we care?

For a moderate price
You can start dodging rice
At the Church Round the Corner, It’s just round the corner.
The corner of Madison Square.

Fiona adds

You can read more about this Church and its ongoing ministry on its website www.littlechurch.org where their Rector writes,

‘We are an Episcopal Church and part of the larger, worldwide Anglican Communion...’

‘Our parish is also known as “The Little Church Around the Corner” ... this nickname stems from our proud heritage of inclusion and commitment to helping those in need. We host a diverse community embracing all people, across a vast spectrum of cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation and economic backgrounds, as full members in the body of Christ.’

The Church’s mission is to be ‘a community committed to faith in action, embracing all who seek God’s inclusive love’. 


The invitation to our Team website is simple: Come On In…Revd Canon Thomas Woodhouse, Team Rector

Dorchester and the Winterbournes Team Ministry is your local Church of England uniting nine worshipping communities:

St Thomas a Beckett, Compton Valence;
St George, Dorchester;
St Mary the Virgin, Dorchester;
St Peter, Dorchester;
St Andrew, West Stafford;
SS Simon and Jude, Winterborne Herringston and Winterborne Monkton;
St Mary, Winterbourne Abbas;
St Martin, Martinstown;
and St Michael, Winterbourne Steepleton.

We are a community that attracts all kinds of people from across the town of Dorchester and six villages, Christians united by our common faith in Jesus Christ. We are a diverse and welcoming team of Christian communities, committed to prayer, service and growth.

This website will let you know about some of the things we do: some of them well established, some of them new ventures and all of them exciting and available for you to join.

Details about the individual churches are on this website and we welcome conversation. For now, thank you for visiting…

With best wishes

Revd Canon Thomas Woodhouse, Team Rector

Almighty God, the source of our joy, you gladden our hearts as we journey towards the heavenly city.
Deepen within us a desire for peace, that celebrating our differences and rejoicing in all we hold in common,
your people may prosper and come to praise you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

You are welcome, whatever your beliefs, even if you find organised religion irrelevant.
You are welcome, whatever your lifestyle.
You are welcome, wherever you may be on your faith journey; believer or agnostic, conventional Christian, or questioning sceptic.
We look forward to receiving the ideas and experiences you can bring.
We welcome the infinite variety of human beings and hope that our shared witness to Christian faith will not leave anyone feeling unwanted or unloved.
We think that the way we treat each other is even more important than the dogmas we hold.
e think it is vital to take seriously the intellectual and emotional problems many people have with the Christian faith.
We think Christians must be concerned with global issues of injustice and suffering.
We recognise that our ignorance far outstrips our understanding and that there is great value just in asking questions as well as in finding answers.
We recognise that our faith involves discipleship and a consciousness of all that is bad and promotion of all that is good.
Our hope is that anybody visiting our churches will feel welcome.