St. James’ Watkins Glen and St. John’s Catharine

at Rector
Location Watkins Glen and Catharine
Date Posted March 13, 2023
Category Rochester (Virginia Tyler Smith)
Job Type Full Time
Setting Town
Compensation $63,000
Diocesan Compensation Info
Health Benefits Clergy + 1
Housing None
Is there a rectory? No
Equity Allowance No
Average Sunday Attendance 30,10
Budget $150,000 combined


Additional comments re: compensation, benefits and housing.

St. James' and St. John's comply fully with the Compensation Guidelines of the Diocese of Rochester

Liturgical style and practice

Both of these parishes are low- to broad-church in style. They appreciate good hymnody and strong preaching.


This is the perfect opportunity for that person who is called to church planting and/or restarting.  St. James' and St. John's have a long history of working together and sharing staff (including parish administration, music and clerical staff).  Over the past few years, they have increased their partnership to include worshiping together between their two buildings.  They are committed to their communities, which are 8 miles apart at the foot of beautiful Seneca Lake, the largest of NY's Finger Lakes.  The parishes have a strongly dedicated lay leadership that are eager to move forward with ministry that spans rural, tourist, and small town populations.  Some of their ministries include a sharing shed, which is open 24/7 for persons in Catharine who need food, hygiene items or baby care products.  They have a gardening project that "grew roots" over the past couple of years in Watkins Glen.  They provide meals and other support to those in need, and they take seriously their commitment to international relief work on the island of Bequia.

Watkins Glen is home to the famous IndyCar Watkins Glen International Raceway as well as dozens of wineries and agri-tourism businesses surrounding the lake.  Both communities benefit from local colleges, a good healthcare system and four gorgeous seasons.


These two parishes have been through a lot.  They had a difficult leave-taking from their last priest, and COVID hit them hard.  Nevertheless, they persevered!  They dug in deep to continue their ministries and to have continuity in supply clergy coverage.

They need a strong hand who is good with administration, able to rekindle ministries that have languished and willing to catalyze new ministries and new connections in the community.  Luckily there is an abundance of clergy support from neighboring congregations, many of which have new rectors themselves.


Watkins Glen and Catharine are a great opportunity for someone who loves living in a lakes region, is committed to small-town life, and has a penchant for building networks within the community.  There is also an opportunity to rebuild some youth presence and continue the progressive voice that these parishes have long represented in their villages.

St. James' especially has the opportunity to grow as the population of Seneca Lake continue to gain year-round residents.  To the north of Watkins Glen, the town of Geneva boasts Hobart and William Smith Colleges and two additional Episcopal Churches.  Ithaca, NY, home to Cornell and Ithaca Colleges, is 35 minutes East.

Contact Information

The Rev. Virginia Tyler Smith

Transition Officer

Episcopal Diocese of Rochester