Throughout the course of our travels, we’ve often remarked that we feel one of the best ways to understand a community is to explore its churches. With that as our goal, we decided to visit the Neo-Gothic St. Stephen’s Church that dominates the Cohasset skyline. Sitting atop “Bourne’s Rock,” this Episcopal Church overlooks both the village center and its historic Common. Twenty-one summer residents founded the initial congregation in 1896 and began plans for a new church. It’s cornerstone, carved out of granite from a Weymouth quarry, was laid in 1899 and the structure was completed in 1901. The early years of the building saw it function mostly as a summer church for those who were trying to escape the heat of Boston. It became a year-round permanent church as the community grew and became more stable. By 1907, a Bell Tower was added, in which 51 bells were eventually installed over the years, until 1928 (making this the largest carillon in New England). With a seating capacity of 208, the interior is highlighted by ten exquisite stained-glass windows. The original carriage house (built over 100 years ago) was eventually converted into a four-bedroom rectory. One of the notable programs developed by the first congregation was the establishment of the “Bonnie Bairns” summer camp for sick children from Boston, which lasted until 1946 when it was absorbed into other outreach services. This was a fun and informative visit.
St. Stephen’s Church
St.Stephen’s church sits on top of “Bourne’s Rock” overlooking the village of Cohasset.
Since the original 21 parishioners built St.Stephen’s in 1901, it has serviced the needs of the local Episcopal community, as well as reaching out to larger Cohasset general community.
St.Stephen, patron saint of this church, was considered the first martyr of Christianity. He was accused of blasphemy by the authorities of various synagogues in Jerusalem and then stoned to death.
Dedicated to thirteen year old Robert P. Williams who suffered an accidental death in 1907, this triple panel stained glass window is of “Christ Blessing Children and Children’s Crusade with Attendant Angels” and is attributed to Walter Ball of the Harry Goodhue studio.
Also attributed to the Goodhue studio, this triptych stained glass window depicts St. John the Baptist, St. John in Patmos , and St. John the Evangelist.
Leave a Reply.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.