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The Rectors Message   


The Reverend Philip Zoutendam

Priest-in Charge

Office Phone:  201-945-0079

Please call with questions or a need for Pastoral Care

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Messages are checked daily.

Office visits Tuesday-Thursday by appointment only.  Call 201-945-0079.


The Wardens and Vestry of St. James’s Episcopal Church, Ridgefield, are pleased to announce the appointment of The Reverend Philip Zoutendam as Priest-in-Charge beginning November 1st, 2023. Fr. Philip will be leading services beginning on November 5th.  This wonderful development is a result of intense prayer and deliberation on the part of all involved; the Wardens, Vestry and the Diocese.


The Priest-in-Charge is appointed by the Bishop for a period of service and mutual discernment, in this case for three years. A Priest-in-Charge exercises all the responsibilities of a Rector, and with the consent of the Bishop and the parish is eligible to be called as Rector during the final year of his appointment.


Fr. Philip comes most recently from Durham, North Carolina, where he attended Duke Divinity School as a member of the Anglican-Episcopal House of Studies. After seminary he was selected for the first cohort of the Reimagining Curacies program, an initiative that offers broad experience to priests entering a rapidly-changing church landscape. Fr. Philip served as curate in three parishes over three years: St. Titus' in Durham, NC; The Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill; and St. John's, Wake Forest. He also has experience in Spanish-speaking and bi-lingual congregations.

After an upbringing in Baptist churches in East Texas, Fr. Philip joined the Episcopal Church as a young adult, and thus combines a deep love for Scripture with an affection for the riches of Anglican theology and tradition. He is married to Dr. Erin Risch Zoutendam, a church historian who recently joined the faculty of Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. They both love reading, traveling, birdwatching, and their two cats, Molly and Winston. Fr. Philip also loves hiking and fly fishing, and looks forward to exploring the trout streams of the Garden State.


Fr. Philip is looking forward to getting to know each parishioner and the rich history of our parish, and joining us on our journey that God has laid out for St. James.  Please join us on November 5th, 2023 for a luncheon after 10:00am services to welcome Fr. Philip and Erin to St. James!


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