The Churchyard

The buildings of Gloria Dei border the cemetery on three sides, with the church to the east (closest to the Delaware River); the rectory, parish hall and sexton's house to the north, and Roak house (containing church offices and meeting spaces) to the west. All buildings are of brick construction with entrances facing the cemetery. The rectory and the sexton's house were built in the 1830's, the parish hall in 1863 and Roak house (named for a past rector, John Craig Roak) in 1969.

Working in conjunction with the Swedish Colonial Society and our local Representative to Congress, William Barrett, Dr. John Craig Roak (rector 1933-1972) was able to have Gloria Dei designated an official Historic Site of the Department of the Interior of the US government in 1942 (before Independence Hall was so designated!). That legislation called for the federal government to give us "an appropriate setting," which eventually resulted in the removal of all non-church structures on the block (in the 1960's) - there had been houses along Christian Street and factories on the south end of the block - and the landscaping of the property, including construction of a perimeter wall (in the 1970's). The legislation also provided for our independence; the church is responsible for its own buildings, grounds and programs (no federal funding is provided).

Gloria Dei (Old Swedes) Church

Also present on the grounds is a memorial to John Hanson, the President of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, that was executed by Carl Lindborg.