Telegram & Gazette
Shantelle Campbell, Correspondent
Published 11:23am ET August 4, 2022
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church has been a part of Worcester’s history for 150 years. It stands tall, structured with medieval design and amazing stained glass windows.
St Matthew’s is absolutely breathtaking. Sitting on the corner of Southbridge and Cambridge Streets, it can’t be missed.
Mother Nancy Ballie Strong was a rector at the church for 18 years, in addition to being an active member in the community, working with groups such as the South Worcester Neighborhood Center, shelters for families and more.
Mother Nancy’s impact on the church and community has been tremendous, her peers seeing her as a “special person” in the parish.
“Mother Nancy Strong served Saint Matthew’s Parish and the surrounding community for almost two decades,” the current rector, Father John McGinty, said. “She began the year that 9-11 changed so much. Her faithfulness, her preaching, her love of people formed this parish for almost 20 of its 150 years.
“With the people she built the foundation of this parish for the 21st century. Her influence on what St. Matthew’s is, and the gratitude to her of its people, are lasting.”
The $3,500 scholarship has been available at the church for about 20 years under the name “The Parish Scholarship,” but after a unanimous vote from her peers it was renamed, “The Reverend Nancy Baillie Strong Scholarship for Excellence.”
All members of the church in or entering college are able to apply by writing a brief essay on what they are pursuing and the importance of their faith.
Mother Nancy is “extremely humbled and honored” to have this scholarship renamed in her honor, although she says she was, “quite surprised, never expecting anything like this.”
It comes as no surprise to those that have seen how involved Mother Nancy has been with the youth in the church. Fr. McGinty says Mother Nancy, “has a great desire to realize the great potential in the youth, wanting them to use all their gifts to bloom.”
St. Matthew’s will be honoring Mother Nancy at 10 a.m. Aug. 7, where she will also be handing out the awards to the recipients.
Amongst the recipients are a few students that were baptized by Mother Nancy at the beginning of their lives, which she says is a “very special bonus” for her.
Light refreshments will be served and all are welcome.