01 April 2012

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - St. Andrew's Parish Church

St. Andrew's Parish Church, Hwy 61, Charleston, S.C.
In a way, I did attend! I caught the last day of the St. Andrew's Parish Tea Room yesterday. The Tea Room  is a southern church tradition that amazes me each year. The church members cook and serve exactly the same food every year - she-crab soup, chicken or shrimp sandwiches, congealed salad, coconut cake and the parking lot is full every single day. Loaded buses pull up from retirement homes.

This is the annual fundraiser for the church and I'm glad I didn't miss it. I know so many people that go each year or serve at the event it feels like old home week. When I googled for information to get my facts straight, I found all the pictures I'd taken in past years.
History: In the late 1940's, shortly after the church was reopened, a group of women often spent all day cleaning and preparing the church for worship services. They had their lunch on the lawn, and soon began to share their lunches with tourists who stopped to see the old church. Because there were no restaurants in the area at that time, and as a way of raising funds for renovation, the ladies began selling coffee, lemonade, and sandwiches to tourists. Thus the Saint Andrew's Tea Room was born. Today waitresses are dressed in late 18th century costumes and serve a full lunch in the Parish Hall. A full gift shop is available and tours of the historic church are available. Proceeds from the Tea Room and Gift Shop provide financial support to a variety of ECW programs and services including mission and ministry in the world and at home, care and outreach in the community and church, support for parish programs and upkeep and restoration of the historic church building.