October 3, 2021

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Announces Relegation of Worship Site in Delaware County

Holy Spirit Church (Sharon Hill), will no longer serve as a worship site of Saint George Parish (Glenolden) and will close as a Roman Catholic church.

Contextual Background

Holy Spirit Parish Merges with Saint George Parish (July 2014)

In July 2014, Holy Spirit Parish (Sharon Hill) merged with Saint George Parish (Glenolden), as part of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative.

Both parishes merged at the location and retained the name of Saint George Parish. At the time, the Holy Spirit church building became a worship site of Saint George Parish.

Additional information regarding the merger can be found at the following link:


Today’s Announcements

Today, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez has approved the relegation of the Holy Spirit church building to profane but not sordid use effective November 15, 2021. This formal, canonical designation means that this building will no longer serve as a worship site of Saint George Parish and will close as a Roman Catholic church.

This information was shared with Saint George parishioners at all Masses during the course of this weekend. A copy of the official canonical decree regarding the relegation can be found at:


Further Information Regarding Today’s Announcements

The formal request to close a worship site originated from the pastor of the parish, together with his parish pastoral and finance councils after joint study and consultation. The request was then reviewed by the Archdiocesan Council of Priests and presented to Archbishop Pérez, who, after a careful review of all supporting factors, made the final decision. 

Holy Spirit Church Building, Sharon Hill

The Holy Spirit Church building has not been regularly used for worship since January 2015 due to the condition of the physical plant as well as a significant decrease in the number of people attending scheduled Sunday Mass at that location as parishioners shifted to attending Mass at the main parish church. Further, there have been no requests for the celebration of baptisms, weddings, and funerals at Holy Spirit Church since that time.

Holy Spirit Church is also in serious need of deferred maintenance repairs. The state of the church building factored into the decision to suspend regular worship at the site in 2015. There have been no major improvements since that time. Estimates to restore the church building to a state appropriate for the celebration of liturgy approximate $523,000. Additionally, yearly recurring expenses to maintain the church in a restored state are estimated to approximate $73,000. These expenses cannot be undertaken by Saint George Parish at this time without jeopardizing the financial solvency of the parish itself and impeding its ability to fulfill its primary mission. Due to the pandemic, repairs needed to the Saint George Church building, and the loss of other sources of income, the parish has incurred a significant deficit spending for the past three years. In addition, the parish must undertake expensive repairs of the former Holy Spirit School building, which the parish is currently leasing to a third party.

Holy Spirit Church is located in close proximity to Saint George Church, with just over one mile between the two buildings. An undue burden for the faithful to come to Saint George Church to worship does not exist. Continued worship at Saint George Church will enhance parish unity and sustainability for the long term.

The Holy Spirit Church building is the property of Saint George Parish. The future disposition of this building will be determined by the pastor in consultation with his parish pastoral and finance councils in a manner consistent with providing for continued parish viability and sustainability.

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Editor’s Note: For additional information on the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit http://archphila.org/features/parish-planning-initiatives/.


Contact: Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer
215-587-3747 (office)