"Not many churches make it to 300, and this one is thriving and doing new things."
The parish had its start when missionaries from England were sent to Staten Island just after the start of the 18th century.
The Rev. Aeneas MacKenzie, who would become the first rector, sent word back to England in 1704 that he needed money to hire teachers. Three teachers were hired; they taught white children in the daytime and the children of African slaves at night, Bishop Schori said.
"Aeneas MacKenzie and some of the leading citizens here wanted to start a church," she said. Queen Anne chartered the congregation in 1708 and sent a silver communion set that was used in yesterday's service. The first church building was consecrated in 1711.