New England until, at the close of the Revolutionary War, we find here her greatest strength.
         For nearly two centuries the Church in the New World had consisted of scattered groups loosely held together by allegiance to the Bishop of London, all efforts to secure a resident bishop having failed. In 1783, when political independence became a fact, with renewed hope Dr. Samuel Seabury of Connecticut was sent to London to be consecrated; but the English Bishops refused the rite, partly because the candidate must first swear allegiance to the crown. At the end of sixteen months fruitless pleading he turned to Scotland, and was consecreted Bishop at Aberdeen, November 14, 1784.
         Yet, Bishop Seabury was a Tory. His consecration was not recognized by the Church of England. So, fearful of the attitude of attending laymen and clergy, when the first General Convention met in Philadelphia in 1784 New England sent no delegate. But the War of 1812 helped heal all differences Patriots and resident Tories, regardless of Church affiliations, united against a common enemy, and the lasting peace that followed established, for the most part, a lasting tolerance.
         A report at the General Convention, held in 1820, speaks of the condition of the Church in Massachusetts at about the time that Christ Church was founded. It tells of a large, elegant Church building nearly completed in Boston, vital progress in smaller cities, and concrete proof of missionary activities, for "—a few small congregations have been collected in other towns." The Rt. Rev. Alexander T. Griswold, D.D. was bishop of all New England except Connecticut. Christ Church, one of those "few, small congregations," is not like a plant that flourished in a waste place. Her life and growth were, in great measure, dependent upon the life and the growth of the fine city of Springfield. So in writing the history of Christ Church Parish grateful tribute has been paid to its environment. With this thought in mind, it is interesting to record that certain definite contributions she has made to the community were noted at the 250th anniversary of the

These pages are © Laurel O'Donnell, 1999 - 2005, all rights reserved
Copying these pages without written permission for the purpose of republishing
in any format or posting to mailing lists is strictly forbidden
This page was last updated on 27 Jul 2005