Our Church began as a Mission founded in 1948. On November 7 of that year, Paul and Marie Brindel, Novato citizens who wanted an Episcopal Church to inhabit the vast and rural area that was Novato, hosted a group of twenty people at their home to meet with the then Bishop of California, Karl Block. Bishop Block allowed the creation of an Episcopal Mission, and the people chose Saint Francis to be the mission’s patron saint. The choice of Francis was twofold: for one, the church was located a mere 30 miles from the great city by the same name; and two, Novato was a land rich in peaceful, natural settings.
In 1950, the Mission worked with the diocese to purchase an acre-and-a-half of quiet, ancient-oak-tree studded farmland to be the grounds for that Mission. The first building, a humble chapel named after Saint Clare, was carved out of the very earth on which it stood, a monument to the Mission’s connection with nature and its humble beginning. Over-time St. Francis grew from a mission to parish.