The congregation that built The Quechee Church began in 1831 when Widow Marsh began organizing services in her home, Marshland Farm. By 1833, a brick building was completed on Waterman Hill Road. Between 1869 and 1871, dissension in the church led to the sale of the brick building to the town and the building became a school. At this time the church was known as the First Congregational Church.
The Quechee Church Building
A new facility for the congregation was designed by Thomas W. Silloway in 1871 in the High Victorian Gothic Revival style. Silloway was a Boston architect who also designed the Vermont State House in 1857. The church was dedicated on May 23, 1873 complete with a 1,274 pound bell.
Special Moments in the History of Quechee Church
On November 12, 1947, the name “Quechee Congregational Society, Incorporated” was adopted. Later the name was changed to “Quechee Community Church.”
At the candlelight service December 21, 1952, a brass cross was presented to the Church by the organist, and the choir.
In 1961, the congregation, led by Rev. Earle Hand joined the United Church of Christ.
On the evening of April 29, 1962 a special service was held for the dedication of chimes which were installed in the tower. They were dedicated in honor of Ethel Churchill, organist for 54 years. It had long been her dream.
Between 1974 and 1976, Kathleen Bruskin painted murals which adorn the sanctuary. These murals show New Testament stories using local scenery and portraits of Quechee residents. The murals can be viewed here.
Challenges & A New Beginning
In 2015, the congregation faced a decline in church-goers and financial hardship. After exploring many options, they decided to close their doors. They held a final service held on Christmas Eve 2015 and a Service of Remembrance on January 10, 2016. (A Local News Article)
The remaining members of Quechee Community Church saw their beautiful, late-1800s church as a central part of the village and longed for its legacy of Christian ministry to continue in Quechee. In 2016 the building was listed for sale and members of the Quechee congregation approached the elders of Christ Redeemer Church in Hanover, New Hampshire with the possibility of stepping in and purchasing the building as a possible church planting or church revitalization opportunity.
Christ Redeemer Church purchased the property in June 2016. Since that time, volunteers have participated in renovations and upkeep of the building. The building has also been used for community Bible studies, Vacation Bible School, and other community events. Ultimately, CRC would like to see a new, separate and self-sustaining congregation established. Over the past year, we have been offering regular worship services for the Quechee community. In January of 2018, we began to hold weekly worship services on Sundays at 9:00 am. For more information about our Sunday morning worship, click here.
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