Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

Destination Salem is working with a team of students from Salem State College this semester, and they are going to be developing some information on the Heritage Trail (that's the red line painted on the sidewalks), Culinary Salem, and sites in Salem that are Green or going Green.

As they develop their content, I'll share it with you. Today I have information on St. Peter's Episcopal Church to share with you. It's a beautiful church, and it has a great history that goes back 275 years.

Here is the information Ronnie Porter from Salem State College has given me on this historic and lovely church:

St. Peter's Episcopal Church is a stunning historical church that wears its heart in its big red doors. Upon entering St. Peter's, visitors are instantly captured by its beauty. The stained glass windows, the aged boxed pews and St. Peter's shrine are just a few of the remarkable delights. The history of St. Peter's is what makes this Salem destination most appealing.

Phillip English, who was accused of witchcraft during the hysteria of 1692, founded St. Peter's Episcopal Church in 1773. In 1740 a bell from Gloucester, England, was placed in St. Peter's. It is the oldest church bell and it still rings every Sunday during worship, to celebrate weddings, and as an instrument of remembrance for a church member who has passed away. In 1774, after the Tea Party and Boston Massacre, St. Peter's became the State Church of the British Crown during the Revolution.

Renowned navigator Nathaniel Bowditch and the founder of the Second Corps of Cadets, Samuel Abbott were original members of the church.

Recently, St. Peter's has made a conscious decision to become an inclusive congregation. St. Peter's stands by their belief that "We are all one in Christ." This means that all are welcome, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation.

For more about the history of St. Peter's Church, visit their web site at http://www.stpeterssalem.org/history.html.

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