The first “Cathedral Committees” were formed in 1899 to help secure the land atop Mount St. Alban for the new Cathedral, eight years before the laying of the Cathedral’s foundation stone. Bishop Henry Yates Satterlee charged the fledgling network of supporters with a call to “evoke interest among all the churchmen of America in the Cathedral at the National Capital.” The earliest regional NCA committees provided “encouragement and moral support” as well as much-needed funds to cover the mortgage on the property.
The NCA was officially recognized on October 10, 1933, “to advance the interests of and to solicit funds and gifts for [the Cathedral] and to disseminate information for charitable, educational, and religious purposes” on the Cathedral’s behalf.
As the NCA grew in size, organizing committees were formed in each diocese of the Episcopal Church. Regional volunteer leaders and an NCA board of trustees provided structure as rank-and-file NCA members served as Cathedral ambassadors.
The NCA contributed funds for constructing the north transept Women’s Porch, the seventh-floor Pilgrim Observation Gallery, the NCA bay in the nave and the NCA flying buttress. In addition, NCA members made contributions of metalwork, needlework, stained glass, and statuary throughout the Cathedral.
The Cathedral’s many guidebooks and other publications have historically been funded with NCA support as part of its mission to inspire love for the Cathedral in each new generation.