Friends of the Cathedral (formerly known as The Laymen's Club), is a group composed of women and men who are lay supporters and volunteers. The group originated as a group in 1908.

Their purpose is fourfold:

  • To strengthen the Cathedral as a vital spiritual community in the diocese, city, nation and world
  • To foster a spiritual fellowship among lay women and men who volunteer at the Cathedral or are otherwise dedicated to advancing the Cathedral's mission
  • To interpret, celebrate, and support Cathedral arts, architecture, history, and outreach
  • To support the Cathederal in myriad ways, including enhancing and renewing the building and grounds as well as supporting events that take place within the Cathedral or elsewhere on its behalf.

Since 1908, the members of the Friends of the Cathedral have been dedicated to bringing the Cathedral’s mission and work to the awareness of the many communities it serves. In addition to sponsoring capital improvement projects for the Cathedral, the Club sponsors lectures on subjects relating to the construction, mission, and the role of cathedrals throughout history, and provides opportunities for fellowship for its members.

The Friends of the Cathedral has been an active and supportive group for over a century, and contributes to a variety of programs and initiative around the Cathedral that include:

  • providing funds for many projects around the Cathedral
  • publishing guidebooks for the Cathedral
  • sponsoring annual lectures
  • hosting visiting groups
  • financing the Cathedral's many social services, including the Soup Kitchen
  • supporting the construction and maintenance of the Cathedral

The Friends of the Cathedral work to archive the Cathedral's decorated history, compiling informative resources that will ensure the Cathedral's legacy.


Friends of the Cathedral offer individuals a way to become part of a fellowship of people who believe in the Cathedral and its future. As opposed to just donating financially, it offers direct participation with other lay people in the growth and preservation of this remarkable world treasure. Rather than being a spectator, it offers the hands-on opportunity to live out our values.

Your membership in The Friends of the Cathedral gives us the energy we need to do our work in supporting the mission and programs of St. John the Divine. Your annual dues help to make our dreams a reality.

If you wish to know more about the Friends of the Cathedral, please visit, send an email to [email protected], or write to the Friends of the Cathedral, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025.