Ever notice the kneelers in your pew at St. Mary’s? Did you know that, like everything else at our lovely historic church, each one has a story? The kneelers are the result of a thirteen-year recent project to redo our one hundred sixty kneelers that was part of the St. Mary’s bicentennial celebration in 2013. Every one of them was handmade by one of thirty-four stitchers.
In June 2018, one of our youth member’s Eagle Scout project was to organize and clean our attic. While clearing out old cardboard boxes, this plaque was discovered on a shelf hidden from view.
We researched and discovered that this plaque was dedicated to the parents – who were born in the middle 1800’s – of two brothers, Julius and Charles Schweinfurth. Both were architects of some repute – one in Cleveland and one in Boston. Buildings in the two cities still stand that were designed by them; including the Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland. (The present Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts was sometime Dean of that Cathedral.)
The plaque was dedicated to the youth of the parish in the room that was set aside for their use. It brings pleasure to the members of this parish to rediscover this valuable artifact, that has so much to do with St. Mary’s, Boston and Cleveland.
St. 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.
We captured the highlights of that historic year here.
Any church – or any other organization – that has not only survived but thrived for over two hundred years has many stories to tell. So we decided to create a place on our website where these stories, or moments from our history, can be saved for our current and future members, as well as the world at large.