St Peter's Livingston NJ

The Diocese of Newark has sold its headquarters at 31 Mulberry Street in Newark, and will move its offices to a redundant church in Livingston, New Jersey. The New Jersey Performing Arts Center has purchased Episcopal House in Newark as part of a $150 million downtown redevelopment plan.

The diocese acquired 31 Mulberry Street in 1997 during the tenure of the Rt. Rev. Jack Spong as part of a property exchange that resulted in the building of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Before that, it was owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, and the Episcopal headquarters was at 24 Rector Street.

However, questions about the suitability of the building as a diocesan headquarters began during the administration of Bishop Spong’s successors, the Rt. Rev. John Croneberger and the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith. No action was taken “for a variety of reasons, including financial considerations” a diocesan statement noted.

The catalyst for the sale of Episcopal House movement was the NJPAC’s announcement of its next phase of development, which included an offer to purchase 31 Mulberry Street on favorable terms from the diocese for $3.85 million. The Mulberry street property will be incorporated into the NJPAC’s Cooperman Arts Education and Community Center campus.

The diocese will use the proceeds of the sale to cover the costs of preparing and moving into its new headquarters in Livingston, and add the balance to the diocesan endowment. 

A diocesan committee recommended the former St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Livingston be the new headquarters. The congregation of St. Peter’s held their final worship service there on Nov. 2, 2021 and the 148th Diocesan Convention the following year voted to accept the closing of the church.

The Relocation Committee selected St. Peter’s Church as the building had ample on-site parking, with space for more than 60 cars; its location was close to the demographic center of the diocese, the building was handicap accessible, and the staff would be able to work together on one floor.

“Finally, choosing a property originally built for worship over a sterile office building, and the good stewardship of using a property the diocese already owns, both held a strong appeal for the Relocation Committee” a diocesan statement said.

The contract for sale calls for the transaction to be completed by September 2024, at which time the diocese will move to its new Livingston headquarters.