Grounds and Facilities
Our grounds and facilities reflect the ideals that St. Francis brings to our spiritual lives: beautiful woods, open spaces, a church building that invites the world outside in, and a parish hall that supports the many Christian formation and fellowship opportunities we offer.
The St. Francis grounds and buildings are used by many outside groups including the Boy Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous, an English Country Dancing group, and—in keeping with its history—a dog obedience school.
Because the worship space at St. Francis has excellent acoustics, it is one of the venues used by the Amadeus Concerts as a performance space. St. Francis also hosts the Words & Music vocal ensemble and the Difficult Run Jazz Band. Many members of St. Francis are involved in the leadership of Amadeus, Words & Music, and other instrumental and vocal groups.
Andrew – Great Falls
Hello, I'm Andrew and have been at St. Francis for over 10 years. I love my church family. One of the things that continues to inspire me is the natural beauty of our campus that is this tranquil island in busy Northern Virginia. In every tree and flower bed there is a story of parishioners coming together to design, to plant and to care for our surroundings. It provides a place of solace, comfort and serenity. Our garden is a reflection of our values as we seek to share the land with the surrounding community. Walking around St. Francis I have to agree with Dostoevsky when he wrote, "Beauty will save the world".
Denny – Great Falls
I own Sisson Landscaping in Great Falls, where my wife and I also live with our three children. We have been members of the St. Francis congregation for the past 15 years.
As the owner of a landscaping company, I was immediately drawn to the aesthetics of the church and how it relates to its surroundings. The building’s charm, with its gabled, green roof and front porch supported by simple columns, is a beautiful sight for all who drive along historic Georgetown Pike. St. Francis and its lovely grounds, containing a variety of mature trees and attractive landscaping, blend perfectly with the bucolic Great Falls countryside.
St. Francis holds many gatherings and events on the church grounds for its parishioners and the community; my family especially enjoys the annual “Blessing of the Animals,” which is held under a large tent on the first Sunday of October. The yearly Country Fair, also held each fall, has many of its activities spread out under the beautiful shade trees. The Fair’s very popular hayride meanders through the fields in front of the church.
After a busy work week, I truly appreciate the serene and peaceful environment of Sunday at St. Francis.
Gary – Great Falls
For almost 40 years St. Francis has served as Boy Scout Troop 55's Charter Organization—but it also sponsors Cub Scout Pack 55 and the co-ed Venture Crew 364 programs. Parishioner families are actively involved in the scouting programs, and we enjoy a very special relationship.
Scouts volunteer each year in support of the Country Fair focusing on preparation, security, traffic and parking management, and clean up. St. Francis also benefits from being the recipient of many Eagle Scout projects on the church grounds; the brick patio under the bell pedestal, the storage shed roof, and the outdoor classroom used by the Crèche and Sunday School, just to name a few. We look forward to building on our years of supporting each other and fostering an environment that promotes the character, moral development, and leadership abilities of our youth.
Rob – Great Falls
I’m Rob. My wife and I joined St. Francis seeking a family-friendly parish where we hoped to raise our future family. We found that family-friendly feeling at this church, and even though we moved several times over the next 25 years, our search location always was based on our intent to continue worshipping at St. Francis.
Over the years, the changes we’ve made to our church grounds and facilities have been in harmony with its country setting. The eight acres that surround our church provides lots of space for our parish and parish-sponsored community outdoor events—including the scouting program. I love that the setting of our parish affords us a beautiful outdoor classroom for our youth to learn about and appreciate nature. I give my time and engineering talents, gratefully, to St. Francis by supporting the facility maintenance program. I really enjoy the fellowship of parishioners as we work together to maintain and improve our facilities, trees and landscape.
Trevor – Great Falls
Hi, I’m Trevor. I have been attending St. Francis since my early days as a member of both the church and Boy Scout Troop 55. I spent a lot of time running around the beautiful church grounds which offered a place for our youth groups or Boy Scout troop to gather and sponsor special events—like the cooking contest our Boy Scout Troop held in the back of the church each December. Open fires and fabulous foods were prepared by Scouts in a friendly competition. Also, I have wonderful memories of using the front of our church on a Saturday as a meeting place for Boy Scout events—whether for fundraising, like the mulch sale, or a game of capture the flag, or just as a meeting place before an over-night scouting adventure.
I remember we became involved in a successful project—paving the gravel church parking lot—by selling, “personalized bricks”. For my Eagle Scout project, I chose to construct a patio around the pedestal of the old church bell using those personalized bricks.
St. Francis is home to me. Whether worshiping the Lord or running around the beautiful church grounds, I always feel comfortable and welcome.
Dennis – McLean
Hi, I’m Dennis. I was introduced to St. Francis by a dear friend of my then-fiancé in 1990 and the church has been an essential part of my life ever since. From my marriage, the birth and raising of my twin boys, to the very sad loss of my wife in 2010, St. Francis and its members have been there for me and my family every step of the way. For that I am forever grateful.
As an architect, I have been involved in numerous St. Francis projects over the years, from planning alterations in our classrooms to accommodate our new Crèche preschool, to leading the design and construction of our church sign, to sketching out ideas for both clergy and vestry members about “what-if” and “could-we-do?” projects for the church, to routine maintenance, unexpected repairs, and necessary alterations.
St. Francis is known affectionately as “the church in the field” and it is a very special place within the wider Great Falls community.