St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
Friday, December 15, 2017
Bethel, Connecticut
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History

 
1834
 
Some Episcopalians meet in a school house to plan a new place of worship in Bethel -- St. Thomas Chapel -- originally part of St. James’ Parish in Danbury.  
 
1835
 
The cornerstone is laid for white frame building on Center Street, now known as Greenwood Avenue, on a lot purchased from Isaac Seeley.  On Oct. 26, St. Thomas Episcopal Church is consecrated, with the Rev. Lemuel B. Hull as the first rector.
 
1909
 
 A new stone church building replaces the old white frame one.  Christmas Day Holy Communion is celebrated in the unfinished structure. The history written for the 100th Anniversary in 1935 notes: “The stone church is from stone walls on outlying farms which the owners were glad to get rid of and St. Thomas’ Parish was glad to get.”  
 
1910
 
The new church, costing $14,200, is consecrated.  A new pipe organ is donated by Mrs. George Shepherd in memory of her husband and her son, Frank.
 
1970s
 
St. Thomas adds the chapel, downstairs classrooms, the parish hall, the kitchen and the upstairs apartment for a priest or sexton (staff member who takes care of the church building and grounds).  Also, a columbarium is established for the interment of ashes in the courtyard.