Sketches of Church Life in Colonial Connecticut
Being the Story of the Transplanting of the Church of England into Forty Two Parishes of Connecticut,
with the Assistance of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
THE CONNECTICUT JUBILEE FOR THE BICENTENARY OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL 1701-1901
EARLY in the year of 1901 the Bishop of Connecticut appointed the octave from the Wednesday before Whit-Sunday to the Wednesday after, to be observed as a solemn jubilee in all the Diocese, for the two hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, which during the Colonial days was so largely instrumental in planting the Church of England within its borders.
The celebration was opened by the Missionary Committee of the Diocese, Rev. Storrs O. Seymour chairman. A service was held in Trinity Church, New Haven, conducted by the Bishop, at which memorial addresses were made by the Bishop, Dr. Lloyd, and the Rev. Mr. Bodley of New Britain.
On Thursday the Junior Department of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Diocese held a meeting of the Inter-Parochial Missions Study-Class, in Christ Church, Bridgeport. Holy Communion was celebrated at nine o'clock, followed by the reading of historical papers from the forty-two parishes of Colonial origin. Mrs. Colt, President of the Auxiliary, presided and much of interest was elicited. A luncheon was then served in bounteous hospitality to three hundred guests. An exhibition of Colonial and other Church relics of great value and unusual interest then followed.
At two-thirty the people reassembled in the church for a Thanksgiving service. A jubilee procession of the Bishop and clergy of the Diocese, together with banner bearers from each of the Colonial parishes, preceded the solemn offering of prayer and praise. Addresses commemorative in character were made by the Bishop, Dr. Hart, and Dr. Lloyd. Two descendants from two of the prominent Colonial clergy were present in the chancel: the Rev. Samuel Fermor Jarvis, grandson of Abraham Jarvis, second Bishop of Connecticut, and Rector of Brooklyn, Conn., the last parish organized prior to the Revolution; and Archdeacon Johnson, great-grandson of Samuel Johnson, one of the pioneers of Episcopacy in Connecticut.
On Friday the Daughters of the King and the Girls' Friendly held a joint service in Christ Church, Hartford, while on Saturday the Sunday School Auxiliary held its service in Trinity Church of the same place. Nearly every Sunday School of the Diocese was represented by a delegation and a banner. A thousand children were gathered and the occasion was an inspiring one.
The Brother hood of St. Andrew also observed the occasion in their annual meeting in New Haven on Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday all the rectors were asked to preach historical sermons and use prayers for the extension of Christ's Kingdom.
Monday was observed in New London by the Diocesan Missionary Society, while Tuesday was set apart for the Church Club to meet in New Haven. On Wednesday the Jubilee closed by a Quiet Day of solemn assembly for the Woman's Auxiliary, conducted by the Rev. Dr. Riley of the General Theological Seminary.
This volume preserves the historical papers written by members of the Colonial parishes, and two of the addresses of the Junior meeting, on the Thursday of this week of Thanksgiving.
The Church Club sent $50 as a token of remembrance to the Venerable Society, and the Junior meeting in Bridgeport sent the offerings of that day, together with some subsequent gifts (£15. 15. 2), with the following letter:
"To the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, all greeting in the Lord:
The Diocese of Connecticut sends to you, fathers and brethren, at the opening of your fourth jubilee year, its hearty congratulations, with a renewed acknowledgment of its debt to you for fostering care during Colonial days and the assurance of prayers for God's continued blessing on your work. Before this can reach you, you will have heard that toward the close of the year, at the Whitsuntide, we kept a week of memorial services, in which each of the missionary organizations of the Diocese bore a part, that we might not only remind ourselves and tell our children of our wonderful history, but might also quicken our zeal and theirs for the years that are to come. At one of these services, held under the special auspices of our Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions, and for its junior branch, at which the several parishes organized in Connecticut while it was a colony were represented and the early history of each was told in outline, an offering was made for your present work. We have great pleasure in transmitting it to you, not as feeling that you stand in need of a gift from us, and certainly not as hoping to express by it our appreciation of what we owe to you, but that we may testify to our sincere interest in your labors and bear an humble part in the thank-offering of this jubilee.
With the prayer that Almighty God will have you, fathers and brethren, and your Venerable Society ever in His holy keeping, we have the honour to subscribe ourselves your servants for Christ's sake.
ST. PETER'S DAY, 1901."
The letter was signed by the Bishop of the Diocese; by the Rev. Dr. Grint, Rector of St. James's Church, New London, the first place in Connecticut in which the missionaries of the Society preached; by the Rev. N. E. Cornwall, Rector of Christ Church, Stratford, the first mission of the Society in Connecticut and the first parish organized in the colony; by Archdeacon Johnson, of Richmond, New York, a lineal descendant of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson, leader of the Church in Connecticut in Colonial days; by the Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis, grandson of the distinguished presbyter of the colony who afterwards became second Bishop of Connecticut; and by Mrs. Elizabeth H. Colt, President of the Diocesan branch of the Woman's Auxiliary, under the auspices of which the service at Bridgeport was held.
SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL IN FOREIGN PARTS.
19 DELAHAY STREET, WESTMINSTER, S.W.
4TH OCTOBER, 1901
My dear Lord Bishop:
The Registrar of the diocese of Connecticut forwarded on S. Peter's Day a letter, signed by your lordship and other representatives of the diocese of Connecticut, reporting on the observance of the Society's Bicentenary, and forwarding a thank offering of £15.15.2. For the latter a formal receipt was at once sent. I am now directed to acknowledge the letter, and in doing so to say that the Standing Committee of the Society have received it with much satisfaction. Thanking you for this latest addition to your acts of kind and brotherly love to the Society,
I am, my dear Lord Bishop,
Yours very faithfully, E.P. Ketchley.
The Right Revd. The Bishop of Connecticut.