Christ Church Identity

Christ Church has been a center for Christian life and nurture in northeastern Connecticut for close to 175 years, since 1828. The current church built of rubble stone and brick was consecrated in 1882 and owes its existence to the memorial giving of the Vinton family in honor of the Rev. Dr. Alexander H. Vinton and his wife, Eleanor Stockbridge Thompson Vinton. Many of the six Tiffany windows including the Rose window were given by Vintons. The Rev. Phillips Brooks of Boston who wrote “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was a friend of the Vintons and preached at the laying of the cornerstone. The architect, Howard Hoppin’s unusual design, seems to reflect an Eastern or old European influence. As one commentator at the time put it, Christ Church is “not modeled after the usual sort of country church or chapel, but like some old monastery chapel of the sixteenth century”. Many continue to give generously of their time and financial resources to maintain the church as you see it today.

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Christ Church has participated in the Ministry of the Episcopal Church since its earliest days having its own “outpost” in Abington (south Pomfret) at one time. Today this includes not only welcoming all who enter our doors, equipping them to respond to Christ’s Call in their daily lives but also supporting missionaries and extensive Outreach work. Nourishing people means providing a good Church School and Adult Education program. Indeed, three Rectors participated in founding schools. Most recently Fr. Frank Bigelow was founder of the Rectory School (bronze plaque outside), a boarding/day school for 5 – 9th grade boys (and day girls), across the street. We still function as Rectory’s Chapel and Church-Home. We are quite a diverse community in some ways bringing varied perspectives and concerns to our worship and program. This leads us into new ventures like an expanding Teen Program. This may be partly due to the fact that we draw members from Pomfret, Woodstock, Putnam, Thompson, Brooklyn, Danielson, Eastford and beyond.

As an Episcopal Church we are “mid-way” between the Roman Catholic and Protestant spiritual and worship traditions. Under Links there are descriptions and connections to our Diocese in Ct. and to the national Episcopal Church. Bishops, priests and deacons share leadership with lay people in Episcopal churches as in Roman Catholicism and our service forms are similar. Yet our theology is more Protestant, encouraging informed discussion and choice on matters of faith. At Christ Church our Sunday morning services are a mix of the traditional and the contemporary with the earliest service being “Rite I” based on the King James English and the later service at 10:15 being “Rite II” which uses modern English. The first service is a spoken service (usually no music unless the Rector brings in his guitar). The later service includes the Choir and hymns form the Anglican tradition but with occasional modern additions from the Afro-American or Contemporary Praise traditions. We also have Contemporary Music service nearly every month at our 10:15 service. This service features our band, Nine6teen, who accompany all the music with electric and acoustic instruments and encourages participation. The Rectory School Chapel at 9:15 a.m. is a much more modern, short-form Eucharist with lively contemporary music (again by a portion of our band, Nine6teen).