St. Peter's on the Green
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The year 2002 marked the 200th anniversary of the laying of the foundation and the raising of the framework of St. Peter's Episcopal Church on the Green in Monroe, CT. It took another five years of dedicated labor to prepare the church for its official dedication in September 1807. This church was started and completed during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson.
The Church Building & Property
The church is Federal in design and attributed to famed Connecticut architect David Hoadley. The church structure originally nestled close to the ground and sat on a very small parcel of land purchased in the late 18th century.
St. Peter's for years desired to expand and in the 1920's took its only option - to go upward. The church was raised approximately four feet and a space was dug out below it, mainly by hand with the help of a horse and wagon, so that an undercroft could be built. In 1960, St. Peter's resolved another growing phase by purchasing the house next door (now used as its rectory) and several acres. To do this they sold the first rectory (the brick house facing Monroe Center Green). A large addition to the rear of the church was added at that time providing much needed office and classroom space and a sacristy. In 1999, the original clapboard exterior was restored to the church.
The entrance to St. Peter's Church off of Route 111 and Old Tannery Road is called the Narthex and here you see signs of the original layout of the structure. The two doors on either side of the present center door illustrate that the church originally did not have a center isle, but two side isles. Also, the two sets of stairs leading to the second floor: (presently the choir loft) were built to give access to the two side galleries of the original building. The memorial book is presently encased in the Narthex and lists gifts donated to St. Peter's over the centuries.
The Bell Tower
Directly high above in the belfry hangs the most recent bell dating to the late 1870's.
Entering the nave, you will notice an 1890's Victorian "modernizing" of the original Puritanical appearance. The nave presently has nine handsome stained glass windows (including one by L.C. Tiffany & Company) that were installed between the 1890's and the 1960's. They were donated in memory of former parishioners. These windows replaced 12/12 clear paned blown glass windows. During this renovation period both side galleries were removed from the second floor. All the original box pews were removed from the first floor giving way to a new center isle and open pews. And, lastly all original windowpanes were removed and replaced with wavy translucent glass.
The two handsome brass chandeliers were donated in the mid 1840's by a former member and taken from his Manhattan mansion. The charming Victorian side lights found throughout the interior were the original kerosene lights dating back over a century. Above on either side of the church there are marble tablets commemorating two former beloved pastors of St. Peter's. The beautiful needlepoint kneelers are memorials and thank offerings worked by the women of St. Peter's. The themes for the kneelers were primarily drawn from the church's stained glass windows and were dedicated in 1981.
A communion rail in the sanctuary is thought to be original and very old. It was found and reinstalled in the 1970's. The sanctuary itself was pushed back and enlarged in the mid-19th century and was the church's first addition. A palladium window remained intact matching the church's front palladium window until the present stain glass window was installed in the 1890' s. The furnishings in the sanctuary are memorials and purchases of 20th century vintage.
Eucharist is a Greek word which means thanksgiving and each week we gather together to thank God for our lives and our community as we gather at the altar for communion. Family Sunday is celebrated on the 4th Sunday of the Month: the children are involved in the worship service, including a "children's sermon." A parish family bakes our bread for the Eucharist. Regular wafers and gluten free wafers are available. All the baptized who are called to the Supper of the Lamb are welcome at our Eucharist!
Sacred Ground Race Dialogue Circles
Sacred Ground is dialogue series on race, grounded in faith. Small groups are invited to walk through chapters of America’s history of race, racism, and whiteness while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity. The 10-part series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories.
Sacred Ground is a resource coming out of Becoming Beloved Community, The Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society. This series is especially designed to help white people talk with other white people, while being open to all racial/ethnic groups. Participants are invited to peel away the layers that have contributed to the challenges and divides of the present day – all while grounded in our call to faith, hope and love.
News about St. Peter's on the Green
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175 Old Tannery Rd
Monroe, CT 06468