Welcome! We celebrate everyone who comes through our doors. We hope that you’ll be one of them.
When you come to worship at St. Peter’s, you experience the welcoming atmosphere, an exciting service, great music, and a practical and inspirational message.
Whether you are new to St. Petersburg, the Episcopal Church, or are just starting to learn more about Christianity, we welcome you to the Cathedral Church of St. Peter. Here you will find information about what to expect on Sunday mornings and in worship. As you enter the glass box narthex, you will be greeted by several smiling faces on our hospitality guild. Please feel free to peruse the welcome table and information about happenings at the Cathedral. There are also cards for you to leave your contact information so that we know how best to connect with you.
Following the 10:15 am service on Sundays, we gather in Harvard Hall for Coffee Hour. Please join us! This is a great opportunity to meet the clergy of the Cathedral as well as other parishioners. If there are particular ministries or groups you are interested in, we would love to connect you with the people who are most passionate about and involved in those activities.
If you have any questions before joining us, please connect with Canon Katie Churchwell, Canon for Community Outreach.
What should I expect at an Episcopal Church?
The Episcopal Church prides itself in walking a “middle way” between Catholicism and Protestantism. At an Episcopal Church you will experience a formal liturgy that is shaped by the Book of Common Prayer and a welcoming sense of hospitality that encourages seekers to join us wherever they are on their spiritual journey. Episcopal worship centers around Holy Communion. You will find that Eucharist is offered at every service as a way of being nourished by God and equipped to serve God’s people.
What should I expect at the Cathedral?
As you enter through the glass doors on 2nd Avenue N, you will be warmly welcomed by our greeters in the gathering area (called the narthex). This is a space where people talk and connect before the service begins. Ushers standing at the entrance to the nave hand out service bulletins and you can make your way to a pew. The bulletins have a lot of helpful information about how to follow along and participate in the service. If you need assistance finding a hymn or prayer in the Book of Common Prayer, don’t hesitate to ask someone near you! You’ll notice that there’s a lot of movement in Episcopal worship — people will stand, kneel and sit at various points. Feel free to participate as you are able and comfortable.
The Cathedral congregation is made up of a eclectic group of people from all walks of life. Some are cradle Episcopalians, others recently joined a faith community for the first time. Some individuals come alone, and others come with their children and grandchildren. Some people wear a suit and tie or fancy Sunday hats, others come in shorts and flip flops. We welcome you however you are and your presence, not appearance, is most important.
What is Holy Communion and who can receive it?
Holy Communion is at the heart of Episcopal worship. The Cathedral practices an open table, meaning that all are welcome to come forward, including children. We believe that the bread and the wine and the invitation are from God.
To receive communion, ushers will direct people pew by pew up to the altar. At the altar, you may receive the wafer in your open palm. If you require a gluten free wafer, simply ask the priest for one. A chalice bearer will come after the priest. You can either dip the wafer into the cup (intinction) or drink directly from the cup as the chalice bearer guides it towards you. You do not have to receive both the bread and wine. If you wish, cross your arms over your chest to indicate you do not want to have wine. You will return to your pew down the side aisle after receiving.
If coming forward is a physical challenge, please indicate to an usher and they will have a priest will bring communion to you where you are seated.
Both children and adults are also invited to come forward for a blessing if they do not wish to take communion. You will come forward to the altar like you would for communion and cross your arms across your chest. A priest will give you a simple blessing at the altar.
Are worship services family-friendly at the Cathedral?
We wholeheartedly welcome children to fully participate in the life of the church, worship included. If you desire for your child(ren) to remain with you during worship, there are activity bags and books available in the narthex for them to use. If your baby or toddler needs extra space, there is a Comfort Room at the back of St Mary’s Chapel (the area to the front and right of the sanctuary). In the Comfort Room, there are chairs and rockers for caregivers and a shelf of quiet books and toys for babies. On Sundays during the 10:15 am service, nursery care is available for babies-age 4. Children’s Chapel is available for children ages 4-7 and Middler Chapel for children ages 8-11. Contact Hillary Peete if you would like more information about children’s ministries at St. Peter’s.
Where is parking available at the Cathedral?
Parking is available on 2nd Avenue N, in a lot across from the main entrance of the church. On weekends, the whole lot is available for church parking. For weekday services and events, please note the meters and signs. There are only a handful of “Cathedral Church of St. Peter” parking signs on the far right side of the parking lot that can be used during the week. If these parking spots are not available, metered parking is available on the street.
Is the Cathedral ADA accessible?
Yes. A side ramp leads into the main entrance and there is space among the pews that accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. The Cathedral is all on one level and has accessible restrooms throughout the building. The Cathedral also welcomes service animals.