[The kitchen is] the one place that speaks family, speaks community for me.

Hyacinth Wood

St. Martin’s’ parishioners are lining up outside the kitchen to taste Hyacinth Wood’s homemade bread pudding. In this interview, Hyacinth talks about the role she thinks food plays in creating a sense of community as she slices cinnamon-raisin bagels and stale bread into a metal bowl.

It’s a very simple recipe. It’s back to basics. It’s bread, old bread preferably, a little bit of butter, a little bit of sugar and fruit, if you have it. In this case I’m using pineapple because I don’t have to use as much sugar with pineapple because it has its own sweetener, and I like fruit.

The kitchen is definitely the heart of most places and it’s the one place where there are no barriers. Anyone can talk about anything here. And food is one thing – as long as I’m eating something I’m willing to share. At least I find as long as I’m eating something, I’m willing to share. People tend to be a whole lot more open and welcoming that way. They’re not only thinking about the nourishment for their body by eating, but they’re also thinking about the nourishment of their community by eating together.

The last time we made bread pudding in this kitchen some of the people who came here I’d never even met. And I’ve been coming to this church for, what, 13 years? And I didn’t even know them. But they came in, they ate bread pudding, they were happy, and then they went home. And I thought – great! I met somebody new today. And that’s wonderful. That’s what St. Martin’s is supposed to be about. Because if we can’t be welcoming to each other, we can’t be welcoming to the community.  And we really want to be that.

I’ve had most of my in-depth conversations with my daughters in the kitchen. I’ve had most of my conversations with my girlfriends in the kitchen. I’ve had most of my arguments in the kitchen. (laughs) So, you know. It’s the one place that speaks family, it speaks community for me. Because we’re all part of it in that one place – it’s that one place—I guarantee – if I start cooking, everybody will find themselves in the kitchen because they want to know what’s going on.

Regular Sunday Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:15 a.m. worship.together (Eucharist for preschool families)
9:15 a.m. Parish Forum & Christian Education (Kairos)
10:30 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Morning prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Compline is offered at 7:00 p.m. on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, in the Church.

Choral Evensong is offered at 5:00 p.m. on 1st Sundays, Oct.-June, in the Church.

We would love to have you join us.


This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.

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