The Fernanda Guild

Fernanda Wanamaker

Fernanda Wanamaker

The Fernanda Guild is a group for the women of Saint Mark’s. Our gatherings are open to all who identify as women in our community (including girls!), and our purpose is to provide an opportunity for fellowship, service to women in the city of Philadelphia, and service to all the people of Saint Mark’s.

The Guild takes its name from Fernanda Wanamaker, the wife of Rodman Wanamaker, who was one of the greatest benefactors of Saint Mark’s. When Fernanda died unexpectedly in 1900, Rodman donated the Lady Chapel in her memory. Her name is a reminder to us of the meaning of generosity and stewardship in the service of God.

Upcoming Events

Fernanda Guild Mother/Daughter Gathering, scheduled for Saturday, September 15 is being rescheduled for later in October. You will be receiving information by early October with the new date.

We will be continuing our discussion of saints and mystics by discussing Saint Hildegard, a woman of many talents, and are especially looking forward to sharing our time with the youngest and wisest among us. Once again, the Fernanda Guild will also be collecting kits for the Nationalities Services Center for immigrants who are new to Philadelphia. For the Mother/Daughter Gathering, select one of the kits from Nationalities Services Center and bring it to the gathering or drop it off with Nancy Massey beforehand.

Past Events

Our last meeting of the year was our annual Tea social event at the Parish Hall. We had iced tea, finger sandwiches, British scones, and sweets. Dress was casual and hats were welcome. We invited some of the men of the church to join us at our annual social, for the fun of it.

On May 8, Julian’s feast day, the Fernanda Guild discussed a recent translation of Julian of Norwich’s writing, The Showing of Julian of Norwich. The focus of our discussion was God as Mother. We selected several quotes from the book and other sources as discussion points including "This beautiful word 'mother' is so sweet and kind in itself that it cannot be attributed to anyone but God," Julian declares. 

For our simple supper we ate as Julian would have eaten. We started with a Cheshire cheese and rye bread. Cheshire was the first cheese made in England, the only cheese made during Julian’s time, and is still being made. We then had a soup from a recipe we believe to have been from Julian’s time, oatmeal and vegetables. We had an amazing birthday cake which was baked with a chocolate mousse, which we felt was a contemporary relative of the typical custard of the middle ages.

The Fernanda Guild meets every other month for a time of fellowship and service. For more information about upcoming events, contact Nancy Massey. We welcome all who identify as women. Join our email list.