March 17, 2018
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Bangor church to mark 175 years on Saturday

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — St. John’s Episcopal Church, 225 French St., this weekend will mark the 175th anniversary of the first Anglican-style worship service in the Queen City. It officially became a parish a year later.

The congregation will celebrate with a high tea at 3:30 p.m. and Evensong at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Bishop Stephen Lane, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, will make his first official visit to the church this weekend. He will preach at Evensong and take part in the 10 a.m. Sunday service.

A new banner will be unveiled Saturday. It will hang on the stone Gothic-style church’s prominent steeple over the next year.

St. John’s held its first service in 1834 and was officially organized on Oct. 6, 1835.

The first church building was a wooden structure, consecrated in 1839. It was designed by Richard Upjohn, who later became an internationally known architect. He also designed Trinity Church in New York City. That church became a refuge for first responders who worked at the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

St. John’s first structure was destroyed in the Great Fire of April 30, 1911. A stone replica of that building was constructed between 1912 and 1918. It was designed by Hobart B. Upjohn, the grandson of Richard Upjohn. The lectern and the baptismal font from the original building still are in use.

At the time of its 150th anniversary, the church listed as one of its recent achievements the fostering of a hospice program in Bangor in conjunction with St. Joseph Hospital. Twenty-five years ago, St. John’s was host to the city’s oldest branch of Alcoholics Anonymous in the state.

Two years ago, the church made history when it hired the Rev. Marguerite “Rita” Steadman as the first female rector at St. John’s.

For more information, call 947-0156.

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