Ring Them Bells

This is a big day for 2 local churches.

Green’s Farms Congregational celebrates 300 years as both a religious and town institution.

The church actually helped propel the growth of Westport — its founding on June 12, 1711 resulted from Green’s Farms residents’ desire for a church closer than Fairfield Congregational, a far ride on a horse.

Church was not just for the faithful.  Attendance in the colony was mandatory; absentees were fined.

For 300 years — even after churchgoing became voluntary — Green’s Farms Church has thrived.  It’s weathered 2 fires (one set by the British), a 1950 storm that sent the steeple crashing through the building, and the countless changes that transformed Green’s Farms from an agricultural parish to an upscale neighborhood.

According to the wonderfully named Diane Parrish — co-chair of the anniversary committee — for 3 centuries, parishioners have never missed a Sunday meeting.

Today, special music commissioned for the tricentenary will be performed during the 10 a.m. service.

Also this morning — following their 10 a.m. liturgy — members of Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will celebrate their own milestone:  the ribbon-cutting of an important new addition to the handsome building on the corner of Myrtle Avenue and (of course) Church Lane.

Though compared to Green’s Farms Congregational, Christ & Holy Trinity is a newcomer — it was founded “only” in 1831 — it too plays an important role in both the spiritual lives of its members, and the civic life of our town.

A centerpiece of the Christ & Holy Trinity addition is a state-of-the-art Great Hall.  Featuring vaulted ceilings, wooden beams and an old plank floor, its Gothic architecture and masonry tower matches the stonework of the main church (built in 1863).

The new and old Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Over time — thanks to the welcoming spirit of the church, and its location in the heart of downtown — it will become another great venue for meetings of all kinds.

Two churches.  One looks backward this weekend; the other forward.

And all Westporters offer heartfelt congratulations to both.

2 responses to “Ring Them Bells

  1. Katie Chase

    Thanks for spotlighting both of these churches’ significant events.

  2. Congrats to both! Special shout-out to all at C&HT involved in the project and especially to architects Deirdre O’Farrelly and Kevin Smith whose keen eye, unfailing focus and attention to detail have delivered such phenomenal results on Church Lane. Thank you!