St. John's Episcopal Church
Williamstown, Massachusetts

Who We Are
A Brief History
of St. John's Church

On Christmas Day in 1853, a small group of Williams College students
met in a private home on North Street for a service from the
Book of Common Prayer, led by a Williams freshman, William Tatlock.
This was the first Episcopal service celebrated in Williamstown.

St. John's Church was organized as a parish on October 24, 1894,
with The Rev. Theodore Sedgwick the founding rector.
Bishop William Lawrence wrote that year of his first visitation as bishop:

",..the mission chapel was so crowded with people that
during the second lesson the whole structure dropped
an inch or two to the fright of the congregation."

Immediate plans were made to build a church. Harley T. Proctor
donated glacial fieldstones from Stone Hill (above the present
Clark Art Institute) for the building. The first service was held
on Easter Sunday 1896, and the church was consecrated
on October 6th of that year. The handsome building has become a
community landmark in the center of Williamstown,
surrounded by the Williams College campus.

The present church school and office building was added in 1955.
In recent years, the parish has invested heavily in restoring and
preserving the church building, and finding ways to create
spaces that encourage growth, foster community involvement,
and enhance the church's ability to offer welcoming hospitality.

What We Do
 
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