Trinity Episcopal Church, Milford, MA Sharing the Grace of God, the Light of Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit,
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A Short History of Trinity Parish

Larger versions of many of the pictures on the is page are in the photo album.

1863   First Episcopal services are held in Irving Hall in Milford on May 17, conducted by Rev. Reese F. Alsop of St. John's, Framingham. Occasional services held throughout the year by Rev. W.A. Hawkins, missionary at large. In December, Rev. Henry Adams of the Church Missionary Society of Massachusetts begins to hold regular Sunday services in Milford.

1864   Trinity Parish organized on March 13, and incorporated on April 11. Diocesan report says that 100 to 200 people attend regularly.

1865   Trinity admitted to the Diocese of Massachusetts. Twenty people sign the Parish Constitution. The first Wardens of Trinity Parish are Charles Dove, a boot-packer who was a native of England, and George Parker, a lawyer who went on to represent Milford in the Legislature.

1867   Present Church building built. First services held on November 29. The Church was originally built without the bell tower and steeple.

1871   Church consecrated on March 21 by the Bishop of Massachusetts, Right Rev. Manton Eastburn. Rev. Reginald Howe is Rector of Trinity. He is the son of Mark Anthony De Wolf Howe, first Bishop of Central Pennsylvania.

1877   The Hook and Hastings organ is dedicated. Completely restored in 1924 and again in the 1980s, the organ is still in use today.

Late 1870s   Bell tower added to Church.

1884-1895   Except for the years 1889 and 1890, J. B. Wicks is Rector of Trinity. Before he was in Milford, he helped educate David Pendleton Okerhater, the first Native American recognized in the church calendar, then returned with him to Indian Territory (Oklahoma), where he served as a Missionary for several years. During this time, Trinity surrenders its stipend from the Board of Missions, and becomes a self-supporting parish.

1895-1899   Harry S. Longley is Rector of Trinity. After leaving Trinity, he eventually becomes Bishop of Iowa.

1901   In June, the Diocese of Massachusetts votes to split. Trinity becomes the most easterly parish in the new Diocese of Western Massachusetts, based in Springfield.

1903   Trinity purchases the double house next to the Church, and remodels it to make it the Parish House and Rectory. Church is closed in July for repairs and renovations, including the addition of a narthex.

1903-1906   Rev. Walton S. Danker is Rector of Trinity. He goes on to serve at St. Johns, Worcester, then with the 104th Regiment, 26th Infantry Division during World War I.

1914   Debt on Parish House cancelled. Lights installed in nave.

On June 16, seven Armenian immigrants lose their lives in a fire on High and Cherry Streets in Milford. A memorial service is held at Trinity on June 21.

1917-1918   Forty-four men of Trinity serve in World War I. Nelson Maynard gives his life for his country.

In April, 1918, Rev. Walton Danker receives the Croix de Guerre from the Government of France. He is killed in action on June 18, the first American Chaplain to lose his life in battle during the War.

1928   Memorial service held for Rev. Danker, and the Altar Crucifix is given in his memory.

1930-35   Rev. H. Murray Elliott is Rector. Many Armenian families move to Milford, forming a large part of the parish community. Parish struggles with finances during the Depression.

1940   Rose window behind the altar given in memory of George W. Bent by his widow. You can click here for a larger picture of the window.

1941-1945   Ninety men and women of Trinity serve in the Armed Forces during World War II. Three members, William Griffith, Vartan Panagian and Francis Wallace, make the supreme sacrifice.

Early 1950s   William Wrenn and Magar Bedrosian are presented for ordination from the parish.

1953   Miss Marjorie Fettig is one of six American members of the Girls Friendly Society invited to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II by the British GFS.

1961-62   Old Parish House next to the Church is torn down, and the Lane Memorial Parish House, connected to the Church, is built. The bequest of George W. Lane, along with the contributions of others, funded the project. Mr. Lane was confirmed in Trinity Church in 1885, and served as Parish Clerk in the 1890s.

1964   Centennial of Trinity Parish. Anniversary service of Evening Prayer held on May 24. As far as possible, the service used the same psalms, lessons and hymns as were used in the dedication of the Church in 1871. The year-long celebration concluded on All Saints, November 1, when Confirmation was celebrated by Bishop Robert M. Hatch, followed by an anniversary dinner in the evening.

1972   Covenant signed between Trinity and St. Mary's Roman Catholic church. The Milford Covenant is now the oldest active Anglican-Roman Catholic covenant in the world.

1975   George Warren becomes Rector of Trinity. Serving the parish until 1992, he becomes Trinity's longest-serving Rector.

About 1975   Hip roof built over the flat roof of the Parish Hall, to solve leakage problems and to improve the appearance of the church.

About 1978   Altar moved away from wall under rose window to current position.

1989   125th Anniversary celebration. The Rite of Holy Communion from the 1789 Prayer Book, which was in use when the parish was founded, is used for one Sunday.

1991   Trinity joins with five other area churches to start the Daily Bread Food Pantry.

1992   Twentieth Anniversary of the Trinity-St Mary's Covenant. In celebration, an Evensong is held at Trinity, attended by parishioners and clergy of both parishes and dioceses, including the Most Rev. Bernard Flanagan, retired Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, who was bishop when the covenant was formed.

1993   Annual Meeting approves a resolution to add two youth representatives, with full voting rights, to the vestry. At the same time, a resolution was presented to amend the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, to allow each parish to add a youth delegate and alternate to their Convention delegation. The resolution passed Convention two years in a row, and is now in effect.

1994   Working through the Episcopal Migration Ministries, Trinity and St Mary's sponsor two families of Bosnian refugees, and help them settle in Milford. The effort required a great deal of coordination and cooperation between the parishes, and was perhaps the most notable achievement of the Covenant. The families -- two brothers, their wives and children -- are self-supporting members of the Milford community.

1997   Lay Eucharistic Visitors are commissioned by the Parish to bring Holy Communion to the homebound after Sunday services.

2000   The website is put in place, taking Trinity online.

2003   Trinity replaces the altar with one that is designed to be free-standing.

2005   After a two-year fundraising campaign, air conditioning is installed in the sanctuary.

2008   Janice Ford, formerly Trinity's parish nurse, is ordained a priest by Bishop Scruton, and becomes Priest-in-Charge at the Church of the Reconciliation in Webster, MA.

2009   The first class of Stephen Ministers is commissioned, providing Christian caregiving to members of our congregation and community.

The 2005 Parish Profile is available here.