The Rev. Winnie Varghese is the 13th Rector of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery.
She is known in the Episcopal Church for her work on human dignity and faith in the public square.
Winnie came to New York from Los Angeles in 2002 to become the Episcopal Chaplain at Columbia University. Winnie came to St. Mark’s Lent I 2009 as the Priest in Charge. In 2009 St. Mark’s was looking for a part time priest after a long period of conflict. She was told the last priest had lasted 6 days! By 2010 St. Mark’s had re emerged as a growing congregation. One marker of that growth was the capacity to pay a priest full time. The more interesting markers were growing Sunday morning attendance and a new commitment to health and mission among new and long time members. After proving to ourselves and the diocese that our growth was sustainable, Winnie was called as Rector in 2012.
Before coming to New York, Winnie was the Episcopal Chaplain at UCLA and curate at St. Alban’s, Westwood from 1999-2002. Before seminary, Winnie was a part of the Episcopal Urban Intern Program at Holy Faith in Inglewood, CA (now Episcopal Service Corps., ESC) in 1994, 95 and was sponsored for ordination from Holy Faith. From 1994-1996 as part of ESC and for a year afterwards, she worked with adults who were homeless and living with severe mental illness through the Mental Health Association of Los Angeles.
Winnie grew up in Dallas, Texas in a family that immigrated from Kerala in South India. Her brother Paul is famously funny.
Winnie likes to be called Winnie.