St. Mark’s Gets Rector After 23 Years

St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, East Village, New York CityVivienne Gucwa

The Rev. Winnie Varghese will be installed as the first rector in 23 years at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery at a special service there this Saturday. She will also become the church’s first, female rector.

In the Episcopal Church, a rector has charge of the parish. St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery has credited Ms. Varghese, 40, who is openly gay, as increasing attendance since she joined in 2009 as the pastor and priest in charge. “I’m honored to be installed as the Rector of this historic, welcoming, progressive, diverse and high-energy church,” she said in a press release sent out by the church. “I look forward to continuing to grow with St. Mark’s by embracing its tradition of supporting diversity, arts and social justice and by providing members a welcoming environment to grow spiritually.”

Ms. Varghese has served as the Episcopal chaplain at Columbia University and the University of California, Los Angeles. She graduated from Southern Methodist University and holds a Master of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary in New York. The service will be held at 11 a.m.