By Barbara Hames
St. David’s Episcopal Church in Cranbury has named its new library in memory of the Rev. Canon Laurence D. Fish, founding vicar and rector of the parish.
Members of Fish’s family attended an unveiling of his portrait in the new space on Nov. 4.
“It was heartwarming to see the library dedicated to Dad,” said his daughter, Evelyn Spradley.
“The dedication is a wonderful way to memorialize Dad’s long involvement with and deep dedication to St. David’s, and his lifelong interest in history and archiving, avocations that defined him.”
In addition to his parish work, Fish served for many years as the archivist and historian of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey in Trenton. He also edited the diocesan newspaper.
Fish began his work with St. David’s in 1968, when the small congregation was meeting at the Peddie School in Hightstown. The Rev. William D. Roeger, the first supervising rector of what was then St. David’s Chapel, said of Fish, “He was obviously God’s choice for this exciting new ministry.”
But there were ups and downs in those early years. “To suppose that all went smoothly would to be to suppose wrongly,” wrote Fish in 2002. Eventually the congregation recognized that in order to grow, it would need to leave its rented space. Fish oversaw the search for property and the construction of a church building on South Main Street in Cranbury. The first services were held there in 1982.
Fish retired from St. David’s in 2003. He served as an interim priest at other churches in the diocese before his death in 2010.
The Fish Library is just one component of a new wing that St. David’s completed last year. The new space includes a large fellowship hall and kitchen, classrooms, a choir room and a sacristy.
Following the library dedication, a parish lunch was served to celebrate a successful capital campaign that funded the new facilities.