St. David of Wales Constructs New Sanctuary

09.28.23 | Homepage | by Kimberly Durnan

    The charming Episcopal church off Scripture Street in Denton is realizing its dream of offering more space so all Sunday morning worshippers will be able to sit in the church proper, rather than in overflow seating due to the church’s successful growth strategies.

    St. David of Wales is in full construction mode for a new sanctuary that will double the size of their available seating. The new building will consist of a worship space, Narthex and restrooms, and will be able to seat 275 people. The new building is scheduled to open in Spring 2024, and will also include a new parking lot.  The existing beautiful and beloved church building will continue to be used and maintained for daily liturgies and smaller services.

    The church was able to raise more than $4 million to secure a construction loan through both sacrificial generosity from parishioners and support from the diocese. The full cost of the new building, including furnishings and fixtures, is expected to be $6.5 million.

    The church has two morning services that are full and diverse in age. The 8 a.m. service has a lot of families with young children, noted the Rev. Paul Nesta, rector of the church. The church has not quite returned to pre-Covid attendance records but is close, Nesta said. “As part of our strategic planning, we strive to implement rhythms and practices that will continue to support us as we grow,” he said. “We want to make it easy for people to come here, with a clear path newcomers can follow to integrate more fully into parish life. This includes having clear programming, on-ramps, next steps, social opportunities, and Christian education groups for both adults and children,” Nesta said. “Our small groups are really successful, with half of our adults being part of a group each week.”

    The church also benefits from a robust choir, bolstered in part by a small scholarship program for student singers from both Texas Woman’s University and the University of North Texas, which has a world-renowned music program.

    Lay leader Jesse Davis attributes much of the growth of the church to the Anglo-Catholic style of worship, the parish’s outstanding music program, and engaging Sunday sermons. “Our expression of faith is different than what is out there,” he said. “It’s clear to a newcomer that we are worshipping Christ, that we are serious about it—but that we also have fun.”