Local Church Leads in Crisis

The Archives is prompted by the new coronavirus to consider how past efforts have been addressed by The Episcopal Church.  Inquirers have asked how the Church addressed the influenza pandemic of 1918.  Responses to that pandemic were led by parishes and dioceses who provided relief services appropriate to the needs of their communities and the safety of their congregants.

The Episcopal Church did not have a national administration until 1919, so no single, coordinated effort was feasible.  Notably, however, the central Board of Missions helped fund local efforts and church-wide chaplains assistance.

Familiar themes emerge in recalling past parish and diocesan efforts.  Does your diocese or parish have a story about its experience during the 1918 pandemic?  Send us a story, link, or reference to add to our list.  Our findings are available alongside a compilation of stories on local experiences.

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