History of Christ Episcopal Church
The parish of Christ Episcopal Church in Montpelier, Vermont was founded on September 8, 1840. The first church was located on lower State Street facing Western Avenue, now named Governor Aiken Avenue. In 1868 a new stone church was built on the present State Street site, at a cost of $30,000. Except for the roof and clerestory, the Gothic structure of the second church was constructed entirely of light granite from nearby Barre and Berlin, Vermont. The new church was dedicated on June 2, 1868 “to the worship and service of Almighty God” by Bishop Williams of the diocese of Connecticut.
The exterior of the beautiful new church extended 108 feet by 55 feet, with the tower and spire rising 100 feet above it.
Unfortunately, over the years the church structure was repeatedly damaged. In 1903 the roof and much of the interior was destroyed by fire. In 1927 the church was nearly ruined by the flood that devastated most of downtown Montpelier.
After the flood receded, the building was repaired at a cost of $36,000, $6,000 more than the original building. But the flood had undermined the structural integrity of the spire by settling deep soil beneath the church and in 1963, the spire had to be removed.
In 1938 the parish house, seen to the left of the church in the picture below, was constructed. It was remodeled in 1984, the same year the new courtyard, built directly in front of the parish house, was dedicated.
Since 1840 the city of Montpelier has evolved and grown, and so has Christ Episcopal Church. Today, the church’s location on bustling State Street, across from the Montpelier State House, allows it to embrace the title of a Cathedral in the Capital City. Adjacent to the well-known Capital City Farmer’s Market, the recently refurbished courtyard continues to provide a calm and restful sanctuary for the entire Montpelier community.