Our History
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
– Romans 15:7

Established as a parish in 1749, Christ Church Greenwich has a rich and long history. Our diocese, The Episcopal Church in Connecticut, is the oldest organized diocese in The Episcopal Church and currently under the leadership of The Right Reverend Ian T. Douglas.

Anglican worship has been a vital part of Greenwich since 1705, when the first Episcopal service took place in a private home. This was just 40 years after the 1665 incorporation of the township of Greenwich. In 1749, when the Horseneck Chapel on the brow of Put’s Hill was completed, the congregation of Christ Church began worshipping there. While this first chapel was destroyed by the great hurricane of 1821, it was later rebuilt in 1834 across the Post Road on its current site. It was from this point that campus expansion began to take place to accommodate the growing congregation. The addition of a parsonage and later a larger church followed in 1857. This growth led to the eventual erection of the 1910 building which serves as Christ Church Greenwich today.

1834
1834

Rendering in 1834

Postcard
Postcard

Historic Postcard of Early Church

Later Postcard
Later Postcard

Postcard from 1931

“Generations of faithful have bequeathed to us a living trust – a sacred legacy – that spans more than 400 years. The Episcopal Church’s presence in America is a precious gift, rich in history and spiritual inspiration. As we embark on our journey to preserve and enhance Christ Church Greenwich for future generations, let us proudly celebrate and honor the bravery and sacrifice, as well as the cunning and dedication of our forbearers from whom we have inherited this beautiful church and campus…”

“Generations of faithful have bequeathed to us a living trust – a sacred legacy – that spans more than 400 years. The Episcopal Church’s presence in America is a precious gift, rich in history and spiritual inspiration. As we embark on our journey to preserve and enhance Christ Church Greenwich for future generations, let us proudly celebrate and honor the bravery and sacrifice, as well as the cunning and dedication of our forbearers from whom we have inherited this beautiful church and campus…”

1620 – Jamestown founded
1672 – Townspeople establish Horseneck settlement, now central Greenwich

1749 – Construction of Horseneck Chapel
1784 – Samuel Seabury consecrated Bishop
1792 – Bishop Seabury preaches at Horseneck Chapel

1821 – Great gale destroys Horseneck Chapel
1832 – New church building constructed for $2,208.12
1833 – Christ Church Greenwich organized as a parish
1835 – First Vestry established
1839 – 3 acres for cemetery next to church purchased for $1,200
1843 – Parsonage constructed
1857 – New church costing $14,607.26 consecrated
1874 – Ladies Sewing Society donates $200 to re-roof rectory and $500 to reupholster church pews
1887 – Sunday School Chapel addition built
1896 – Tiffany glass window “Come Unto Me” dedicated

1910 – New church built at a cost of $213,502
1911 – Endowment established
1916 – St. John’s becomes a mission of Christ Church
1922 – Repairing and restoring portions of church walls
1929 – Pew rents abolished
1940 – Greenwich Branch of British War Relief Society meets
1942 – Greenwich Branch of the American Red Cross meets; Air Raid Wardens meet
1946 – Organ replaced for $1,532.50; Vestry told that the masonry, windows, gutters, valleys and terra cotta need to be replaced/restored
1953 – First woman elected to serve on the Vestry
1961 – Christ Church Nursery School opens
1963 – Tomes-Higgins House purchased
1975 – Neighbor to Neighbor established at Christ Church
1976 – Austin Pipe Organ dedicated
1981 – First female Warden elected
1984 – Christ Church Bookstore established
1997 – New rectory completed
1999 – Tomes-Higgins House restoration and conversion completed

2004 – Good Shepherd window restored
2004 – The linoleum is removed from the floor in the church and new oak flooring is installed to complete the restoration
2005– the Gateway School property rights are permanently transferred to Family Centers for $500,000
2006 – On May 14 all four Episcopal Churches in Greenwich participate in a celebration of 300 years of Anglican worship
2007November, The Rev’d Jeffrey H. Walker retires from Christ Church Greenwich
2007November, The Rev’d Dr. James B. Lemler accepts the position of Priest-in-Charge
2008 – Christ Church Greenwich, under the direction of Director of Marketing, Susan Marks, launches a new logo and tag line, Nourishment for the Journey
2008September, Jamie Hitel joins Christ Church as Director of Music
2009 – Partnerships are established with Temple Sholom, Trinity Church and Stanwich Church
2009September, Conversations on Courage & Faith is launched
2009 – the east and west transept gables in the church are restored; the Parish Hall is air conditioned
2010 – The Horseneck Foundation is established
2010October, the Sholom Center for Interfaith Learning & Fellowship is established by Rabbi Mitchell Hurvitz and The Rev’d Dr.James B. Lemler
2010June, an HVAC system is installed in the church from funds given by an anonymous donor
2010June, 1910 Buildings celebrate 100th Anniversary
2010June 4, The Rev’d Dr. James B. Lemler is installed as the ninth Rector of Christ Church Greenwich
2012December, Christ Church Greenwich joins Facebook
2013SeptemberRise Up, Restore, Rejoice! Capital Campaign begins.
2014June, Restoration of the exterior of the sanctuary begins
2015April, Church building closes for interior restoration
2015November, Church sanctuary reopens after restoration
2017September, The Rev’d Dr. James B. Lemler retires as Rector of Christ Church Greenwich.
2017September, The Rev’d John H. Branson joins Christ Church as Interim Rector.

Take a walk through time...

1579
1579

1579 Timeline

1700
1700

1700 Timeline

1792
1792

1792 Timeline

1835
1835

1835 Timeline

1864
1864

1864 Timeline

1882
1882

1882 Timeline

1901
1901

1901 Timeline

1911
1911

1911 Timeline

1923
1923

1923 Timeline

1932
1932

1932 Timeline

1943
1943

1943 Timeline

1951
1951

1951 Timeline

1958
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1958 Timeline

1979
1979

1979 Timeline

1990
1990

1990 Timeline

2001
2001

2001 Timeline