200 Years and Beyond…

cornerstoneSt. Mary’s cornerstone was laid on September 29, 1813. Less than a year later, the church was dedicated as the first Episcopal parish built west of Boston.

Two hundred years later, in 2013, our parish embarked on a year long celebration of this remarkable anniversary. Through special concerts, a ‘historic worship service’, a rededication of the cornerstone, and celebrations of many types and sizes we marked our ministry in this corner of Newton.

In celebration of this bicentennial the parish undertook a capital campaign. The campaign was broad reaching and encompassed exterior and interior painting of the church, a modern energy efficient heating system as well as new windows and insulation, and major renovations of our parish hall.

 

MEMORIES OF OUR 200TH ANNIVERSARY (PHOTOS)

One of the oldest photos we have of St. Mary’s, probably taken around the turn of the last century.

One of the oldest photos we have of St. Mary’s, probably taken around the turn of the last century.

 

Thanks to parish member John Turtle, the cornerstone and buried time capsules were found in time for the anniversary service.

Thanks to parish member John Turtle, the cornerstone and buried time capsules were found in time for the anniversary service.

 

The cornerstone was laid in September 1813, and the church building completed and consecrated in April 1814.

The cornerstone was laid in September 1813, and the church building completed and consecrated in April 1814.

 

The family of St. Mary’s longest serving rector, Dr. Alfred L. Baury (1829-1851) donated his bible, dated 1808, to our church archives.

The family of St. Mary’s longest serving rector, Dr. Alfred L. Baury (1829-1851) donated his bible, dated 1808, to our church archives.

 

The bell in our tower was first hung in 1822, cast by Major George Holbrook, who apprenticed under Paul Revere.

The bell in our tower was first hung in 1822, cast by Major George Holbrook, who apprenticed under Paul Revere.

 

Our cemetery includes the tombstone of Zideon Hooker, who claimed to have been a drummer boy at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and to have had his drum shot out by the British.

Our cemetery includes the tombstone of Zideon Hooker, who claimed to have been a drummer boy at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and to have had his drum shot out by the British.

 

The church building was stripped to bare wood – for the first time – and repainted. In those boards we see the addition to the church in the 1840’s, patches repairing unknown damage and square headed nails unseen for nearly 200 years.

The church building was stripped to bare wood – for the first time – and repainted. In those boards we see the addition to the church in the 1840’s, patches repairing unknown damage and square headed nails unseen for nearly 200 years.

 

Sunday morning, September 29, 2013 – beautiful weather on the 200th anniversary to the day of the original dedication of St. Mary’s cornerstone.

Sunday morning, September 29, 2013 – beautiful weather on the 200th anniversary to the day of the original dedication of St. Mary’s cornerstone.

 

The late Right Reverend Thomas Shaw presided over our 200th anniversary service. He performed baptism and confirmation rites for parish members.

The late Right Reverend Thomas Shaw presided over our 200th anniversary service. He performed baptism and confirmation rites for parish members.

 

A view from our choir loft

A view from our choir loft

 

A view of our choir loft

A view of our choir loft

 

Bishop Tom and our youth…

Bishop Tom and our youth…

 

The Free Masons re-dedicated the cornerstone after the 200th anniversary service.

The Free Masons re-dedicated the cornerstone after the 200th anniversary service.

 

Evening festivities in our parish hall commemorating 200 years of history and fellowship…

Evening festivities in our parish hall commemorating 200 years of history and fellowship…