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Tag Archives: Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Over the years, “06880” has reported on too many tree removal stories.
This is not one of those.
Over the past months, there’s been an effort in town to improve the intersections and cross streets on Myrtle Avenue.
One victim of this modernization project was to be the island in front of Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, by Sconset Square. The plan was to remove everything, to form a “T” intersection.
The site is lovely. It’s also historic.
It’s where the Disbrow Tavern was located, back in the 1700s. George Washington is said to have had some ale there, and maybe even a room for the night.
A tree sat on the island for centuries, until the 1960s. It was removed in an earlier modernization project.
Church members took it upon themselves to inform the town of the site’s history and beauty, and the utility of the island and tree.
In the mid-’60s, parishioners planted what they called the new “Trinity tree.”
Fifty years later, that history has been forgotten by — or is unknown to — many Westporters. Construction has decreased the size of the island, and damaged the roots. All of that endangered the Trinity tree.
Some area residents and members of the Planning & Zoning Commission worked through a variety of town agencies to save the tree, and the island.
Over the last couple of weeks, a contractor hired by the town has loosened the soil, injected it with mulch and nutrients, trimmed the branches — and removed campaign signs.
Thanks to tree warden Bruce Lindsay and others, the Trinity tree now has a good chance of adorning, and shading, the island for another 50 years.
That is, if people don’t tramp on the island and its roots, while putting up signs.
Lindsay placed 4 small signs on the island, asking people to stay off and give the tree a chance.
A campaign sign appeared this morning. Town officials say they’ll remove them, as long as the tree is convalescing.
This is not about politics. It’s just about common sense.
And the history and beauty of a downtown tree we all love, admire and respect.
In 2011, a fire just before Thanksgiving nearly destroyed Saugatuck Congregational Church.
A spectacular effort by firefighters — and firewalls — prevented complete destruction of the historic building. But the sanctuary was ruined.
The music department was devastated too. They lost 5 pianos, choir robes, a 100-year-old music library with thousands of sheets of music, and a pipe organ.
It took years for the church to rebuild. The organ was insured; monies helped rebuild the sanctuary.
Meanwhile, a committee sought designs and quotes from top-notch organ builders around the world. The Klais Orgelbau was chosen for its warmth of tone, design of the case, and the family feel of its company.
Installation began this summer. Finally — nearly 8 years after the fire — the new organ is ready.
On Sunday, October 13 (2 p.m.), Saugatuck Church celebrates with a special concert.
The performers were all chosen for the compassion they showed after the fire.
James Boratko and his church in West Hartford reached out immediately. They loaned hymnals, anthems and choir robes. “Having parishioners singing from hymnals together” — even at other sites — “helped mold us as a community,” says Saugatuck’s director of music Heather Hamilton.
Ed Thompson at the Unitarian Church also called quickly, offering music, support, and a place to rehearse every week for 2 years. “We felt welcome, and loved being there as a group,” says Hamilton. (She took her first organ lessons from Thompson, and considers him a mentor.)
Craig Scott Symons gave Hamilton a keyboard. That helped her work remotely, and with the choir when they worshiped in different places.
Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church — a few yards across Myrtle Avenue from Saugatuck Church — offered the use of Branson Hall for the townwide Thanksgiving feast, just a few days after the blaze. Congregants worshiped in Christ & Holy Trinity’s Seabury Center many Sundays and Christmas Eves, while their own building was rebuilt. Temple Israel opened its arms to the congregation, providing worship space for over 2 years.
Saugatuck Church invites everyone to the October 13 concert. After all, Hamilton notes, contributions for the new organ came from throughout Westport and beyond — not just parishioners.
In that spirit, the church is eager to share its organ with others. Several concerts are already planned. And the American Guild of Organists looks forward to sharing their music and master classes on it.
(The October 13 concert starts at 2 p.m., and is free. A reception follows at 3 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Westport Library.)
First came “Groundhog Day.” Then “Independence Day.”
A new film takes place on April 1. It’s not called “April Fools Day” — the title is “Batsh*t Bride” — but the premise is clear.
Just before her wedding that day, a bride pranks her fiance by saying they should break up. Unfortunately, he feels the same way. Everything spirals out of control from there.
Jonathan Smith’s indie feature — starring Meghan Falcone as Heather — debuts August 26 at Stamford’s Avon Theatre. The venue is signifcant: “Batsh*t Bride” was filmed throughout Fairfield County.
Many scenes took place right here, including Christ & Holy Trinity Church and Longshore and Pearl restaurant. A number of Westporters had roles as extras.
The first scene the filmmakers shot was Heather’s failed wedding. Cinematographer Jason Merrin worked on it while in town for his own wedding.
A local blog posted the call for extras. Expecting only a handful of people, Smith planned his camera angles creatively. However, the Christ & Holy Trinity pews were packed.
Many extras were then recruited for other background shots. One was even given a line.
The ballroom and hotel scenes were all shot at The Inn at Longshore. But the production was allowed in only on Monday through Wednesday, for 2 consecutive weeks.
Smith liked Longshore so much, he rewrote several sections to fit the grounds. He added in golf and kayak scenes.
Tickets to the premiere are $10. Chez Vous Bistro offers a $25 prix fixe 2-course dinner prior to the screening, while Flinders Lane Kitchen & Bar has happy hour drink prices and complimentary appetizers after the screening (with ticket stubs).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and dinner reservations.
There’s something new at Westport’s venerable Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
For decades, worshipers have admired the stained glass windows in the sanctuary.
But — as shown above — they’ve been removed for restoration.
Until they’re back in place this fall, beautiful art has been replace by equally gorgeous, ever-changing natural scenery.
If you miss the stained glass (or never saw it): Here’s a photo.
In the years following the Civil War, Americans began a springtime ritual of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags.
That was the start of Decoration Day. Today we call it Memorial Day.
On Saturday, Boy Scouts with Troop 39 — and Troop 139, Westport’s first female Scout troop — continued the tradition.
They decorated the headstones and markers of scores of military members at 5 cemeteries: Greens Farms Congregational Church upper and lower; Assumption; Christ & Holy Trinity, and Willowbrook.
I saw them, as they finished at Christ & Holy Trinity cemetery on Kings Highway North. After they left, I visited those graves.
Some honored men killed in action, as far back as the Civil War.
Others led long lives, after service in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam.
The Boy Scouts remember them.
All of Westport should too.
Thank you, Troops 39 and 139!
We take our firefighters for granted.
No matter what they do — first responders to medical calls, helping out in weather emergencies, or actually putting out fires — we are grateful.
But we also say, “that’s their job.”
The number of folks who take the time to thank the Westport Fire Department after an encounter is waaaay too small.
The other night though, Platoon 3 responded to a call at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. They contained what could have been a major blaze to just a small area near the altar.
After they left — cleaning up, as usual, in their very professional way — Annie Fasnella wrote the following poem. That’s why Platoon 3 — and the entire Westport Fire Department — are this week’s Unsung Heroes.
Earth angels came
in the middle of the night
Heroes without capes
Oh, what a sight.
The Assistant Chief, Shift Commander
and his team from the WFD
put out the fire
at Christ and Holy Trinity.
How amazing, all of you work
with such wisdom and skill
and below freezing Winter’s chill.
You’re simply the best
Kudos, three cheers and hooray
for containing the blaze so quickly
on Ash Wednesday.
With profound esteem
and your brilliant knowhow
Westport salutes you
The curtain is rising on a new morn
It’s your time to take a bow.
George Washington was born in 1732. Two hundred years later, Westport celebrated the bicentennial of his birth.
Nearly 100 years after that, he’s created a mini-controversy.
A couple of months ago, Jeff Manchester and his son were out riding bikes. They stopped at the little grass triangle at the intersection of Kings Highway North and Old Hill — across from the Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church cemetery — and discovered a plaque. Dedicated in 1932, it marked the 200th anniversary of our first president’s birth.
The image Jeff sent was last week’s photo challenge. Tom Ryan, Bob Grant and Jill Turner-Odice quickly got the answer.
But Elaine Marino and Bob Weingarten disagreed. They said the plaque can be found at Christ & Holy Trinity Church itself, on Myrtle Avenue.
Elaine offered proof: a 1959 Westport Town Crier article:
According to tradition, George Washington, while en route from Philadelphia to Boston to take command of the Continental Army, stopped at the old Disbrow Inn, which then stood on the present site of the church; he stood underneath the elm which grew before the door of the Inn as he drank from the water of the well close by. This tradition (which is well substantiated by subsequent historical research) marked the old elm as Westport’s oldest and most historic landmark. When the parish was established in 1860, the old tavern was demolished to make way for the church, but the tree was carefully preserved.
During the Washington Bi-Centennial Celebration in 1932, the Compo Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed their bronze plaque at the base of the tree.
The plaque Jeff and his son saw on Kings Highway doesn’t indicate who placed it there.
Nor does the one at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. Elaine headed there on Tuesday, and sent a photo.
The plaque is more weather-beaten than its cemetery counterpart. It says: “George Washington stopped for refreshments at this tavern, June 28, 1775.” It also has the bicentennial dates: “1732-1932.”
Too bad we can’t ask George Washington about the 2 plaques. He’d never tell a lie.
(Click here to see the plaque photo; scroll down for comments.)
Here’s this week’s photo challenge. It has nothing to do with George Washington. And there is no controversy over where it is.
If you know the answer, click “Comments” below.
It was an interesting Palm Sunday at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
After the procession — 3/4 of the way through this morning’s family service — the fire alarm went off.
Everyone quickly filed out of the church, while the great Westport Fire Department raced over to check things out.
Rev. John Betit improvised, and held communion outside!
The culprit was the incense used in the procession. Thankfully, today was not one of our many nor’easters.
Easter — a harbinger of spring — is only a week away.
I’m not a playground person.
But Anne Bernier and Peter Boyd are. Which is why they were the only “06880” reader to correctly identify last week’s photo challenge. It was a closeup of part of the playground at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. (Click here for Thomas Quealy’s shot.)
Located right downtown — directly across from Aux Delices — it looks very inviting. Little kids romp there during the day.
But no one knows whether it’s open to the public, or limited only to the pre-school.
Maybe that’s why no one — besides Anne and Peter — knew the photo challenge answer.
Here’s this week’s image. If you think you know where — or what — it is, click “Comments” below.