Christ Church, Springfield, Massachusetts is a branch of that great body, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Her conception and growth, therefore, can best be appreciated by reviewing the early life of the Church as a whole and by noting the sources from which Christ Church received nourishment during her first tender years
In colonial days, when adventurous spirits like Drake and Frobisher sailed the high seas, the services of the Book of Common Prayer were read on all the English sailing vessels. A cross at the entrance to Golden Gate, San Francisco, (1578) and one at the mouth of the Kennebec River, Maine, (1607) mark the sites where services were first read on each coast of our great continent. In the settlement of the southern states, continuous church life was a vital factor. However, in this narrative it is fitting to stress only the outstanding events of the Church's slower progress in the northern states, recalling first that the Puritans who settled Massachusetts were Church of England people. Their clergymen had received Episcopal ordination; their Bishop had blessed them when they sailed away. But soon in a new land, their rebellion against ritualism became so sweeping that they turned an unrelenting face against anyone who practiced it.
Such an attitude prevailed to a greater or less degree until, in 1722, the Church received a wonderful impetus. The President of Yale College (then numbering thirty-five students), the faculty, and fifty near-by clergymen became communicants of the Church of England. "The eminent converts had read their way into the Church." From that day Episcopalianism grew in material and spiritual power in New