The little church that tried: St. David’s Episcopal Church in Mass. holds last service July 26

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of St. David’s Episcopal Church congregation, church historian Wesley Martin put together a book entitled The Little Church that Could, but now, the addendum he’s writing will have be titled The Little Church that Tried, because St. David’s is closing. The last service will be held July 26, with Bishop Thomas Shaw in attendance. After the service, the church will be deconsecrated and sold.

It’s a heartbreaking end to the little white mission church built by the congregation 13 years ago after searching for a permanent home for its first 26 years. The church’s mission was to bring new members to the church, but membership has stayed at about 25 since the beginning.

“We’re a very small congregation, but everybody does things, everybody helps,” Diane Williams, the congregation’s senior warden, said as she sat in the pews of the empty church one sunny day.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

4 comments on “The little church that tried: St. David’s Episcopal Church in Mass. holds last service July 26

  1. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    How sad. We keep hearing more stories like this. I wonder if there are more TEC churches closing than are leaving.

  2. tjmcmahon says:

    I wondered the same thing. What has been surprising to me is that the news of closings lately seems to come from fairly densely populated eastern states. I wonder how rural churches in Nebraska or Montana are holding on.

  3. Old Pilgrim says:

    Yes, it is sad. But the parish is, after all, in Massachusetts. Part of the article spoke about young families having other activities to choose from on Sundays. I can’t think of a more secular region of the country than New England (some *as* secular, but none more). It seems to me that one of the missions of TEC for some decades now has been to help people become more secular. The lesson stuck, and younger people realized that they simply didn’t need a church to tell them how to be secular. Hence, they don’t choose to attend services. Not a surprise.

    The older parishioners come from a different subculture, in which church membership was part of their identity…also, the church was an outpost of authority, which still commanded respect for being such. In these postmodern times, with years of “question authority” hype (not that anyone ever asked “sez who”?) embedded in the subculture of younger people, many only respect “authority” if it is useful to them ([i]e.g.[/i], firefighters rescuing people from burning buildings). As an abstract concept authority is something many people simply find annoying. I feel for the people who are losing their mission parish, but it was probably inevitable.

  4. robroy says:

    See the story repeated in Minnesota in an article here:

    See Anglicat’s analysis about the Minnesota church here: