A joint announcement from Bishop Hughes and the diocesan Trustees.
Last year, we announced that we had accepted an offer from NJPAC to purchase our headquarters building at 31 Mulberry Street with closing to take place by September 2024, and that a Relocation Committee had been formed to make a recommendation for our next diocesan headquarters.
Last week, the diocesan Trustees voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Relocation Committee, also unanimous, to move diocesan headquarters to the property of the former St. Peter’s Church in Livingston. A move-in date of late September 2024 is anticipated.
The congregation of St. Peter’s held their final worship service there on Nov. 2, 2021. On May 7, 2022, the 148th Diocesan Convention voted to accept the closing of the church.
The Relocation Committee selected the property after a months-long search of real estate in Newark and adjoining areas failed to turn up a location as suitable to the diocese’s needs.
The former St. Peter’s Church has several attributes that make it an ideal choice.
According to the space use study done prior to the decision to sell 31 Mulberry, the building is the perfect size for the diocese’s needs. It also has ample on-site parking, with space for more than 60 cars.
The location, at 94 E. Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Livingston, will place diocesan headquarters very close to the demographic center of the diocese.
The building is handicap accessible, and the staff will be able to work together on one floor.
Finally, choosing a property originally built for worship over a sterile office building, and the good stewardship of using a property the diocese already owns, both held a strong appeal for the Relocation Committee.
Sam Reckford, diocesan CFO and convener of the Relocation Committee, noted that it was quite extraordinary that the committee was unanimous in its recommendation despite the diverse backgrounds and preconceptions of the members. “This choice made so much sense that even those who would have preferred that we stay in Newark or move to another urban location realized that this property was the best fit for our needs,” he said.
Before the Bishop and her staff can take occupancy, the office space will need to be renovated, and the electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems brought up to code. The nave will be adapted to become a large meeting space, with an area reserved for worship.
"During Holy Week we followed Jesus to the cross, through death, and into resurrection," said Bishop Hughes. "So, it comes as no surprise to us, that even as the doors to St. Peter’s closed, God was already raising up a new life for parishioners as they joined other churches – and for the parish building itself. Though it will be a while before plans are complete and renovation can start, I am one of many involved in this project grateful for the opportunity to begin anew with a building already in our midst."
Much gratitude is owed to the members of the Relocation Committee, the diocesan staff who were involved, and our consultant architect, for their very committed work. In addition to Sam Reckford, they are:
Frederick Cooke - All Saints, Hoboken (Absalom Jones)
*Pat Yankus - St. Paul’s, Paterson (Augustine of Hippo)
*Bernie Milano - Trinity, Allendale (Benedict of Nursia)
*Don Taylor - St. Elizabeth’s, Ridgewood (Benedict of Nursia)
*Mary Sunden - Grace, Westwood (Benedict of Nursia)
The Rev. Jon Richardson - St. David’s, Kinnelon (Constance and Her Companions)
*The Rev. John Mennell - St. Luke’s, Montclair (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
*John Garde - Grace, Madison (Evelyn Underhill)
Bill MacIntosh - St. George’s, Maplewood (Evelyn Underhill)
Rick Marchisio - Christ Church, Short Hills (Evelyn Underhill)
Robert Cottingham - Epiphany & Christ Church, Orange (Florence Li Tim-Oi)
Tracy Cummings - Grace, Newark (Florence Li Tim-Oi)
The Rev. George Dredden - Trinity & St. Philip's Cathedral (Florence Li Tim-Oi)
Kathy Kremins - Messiah, Chester (Harriet Tubman)
John King (diocesan staff)
Jim Caputo (diocesan staff)
Chloe Caprice (diocesan staff)
Richard L. McElhiney, AIA, Consultant
* Denotes this person also served on the 31 Mulberry Discernment Committee.
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