left by Mr. Rutledge; but it is understood that it was by his suggestion called by its present name, 'Christ Church.' This name appears in the journals of the State conventions of that day."
Dr. Strong administered communion on June 17th, 1821, for the first time to 27 persons, there being Presbyterians and Methodists among them. Then the following month (July 7) the great, good Bishop Griswold came and confirmed five persons. This must have been a banner day! A definite, cheering reward of four years' untiring, laborious effort. It is also recorded that the Bishop then baptized one child, Henry W. Lee. The Baptismal Service had been read on previous occasions, once by a clergyman from Northampton and once by Dr. Strong.
It is interesting to record that Christmas celebrations began to creep in about this time. They were new and unusual enough to receive comment from the Press. "The Federalist" defends them, and there is no available record that, in Springfield, services had to be held secretly, or that they were attended by rowdyism, as at Greenfield. One item reads (Dec. 27, 1820) "Public religious services were performed . . . in several churches besides those of the Episcopal order." The following year we find a similar article which throws a bit of light on the character of Mr. Rutledge; "The public Religious services at the United States Chapel, yesterday, in commemoration of the Messiah's ADVENT, were conducted by the Rev. Edward Rutledge, and were unusually impressive and interesting." This attitude contrasts pleasantly with a law of the Puritans that "Any found in the observance of Christmas should be fined five shillings."
The Unitarians of Springfield did not clearly define their creed until after the coming of the Rev. Dr. Wm. B.0. Peabody. In "A Sketch of the History of the First Half Century of the Third Congregational Society of Springfield" (as this group was called) he tells its of the beginning of that Church's life, and we can see why the Episcopalians, evidently, believed a church might he built under their auspices. Dr. Peabody wrote: