About Christ Church
We will grow and enrich the Christian Community by ministering to each other and our world. We will worship together, manage our resources effectively, and create an environment where individuals are strengthened in faith and respected. We will support and encourage prayer, study the Word and the Episcopal Faith that we may strive to know God’s will, serve him, and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A full roster can be found by going to our Contact page. Christ Church has a small number of paid staff and clergy, so we couldn’t do all we do without the help of volunteers.
Early Service, Spoken Eucharist
Holy Eucharist with music
History of Christ Church
Christ Church is the oldest continually operating Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Maine. 0ur roots were planted by Dr. Sylvester Gardiner a major shareholder in the Kennebec Proprietors who settled this valley. A prominent Boston physician, he became the patron of Jacob Bailey, the “Frontier Missionary. Together they helped raise the slender spire of the first St. Ann’s Church which was dedicated on August 13, 1772. The Revolutionary War delayed completion, and a fire in 1793 destroyed the building” The Church was soon rebuilt, and this second St. Ann’s marks the corporation/incorporation date of our Parish –March 28, 1793.
Dr. Gardiner’s grandson, Robert Hallowell Gardiner became steward of St. Ann’s, but when members outgrew the building, he commissioned the Rev. Samuel Farmer Jarvis to design a new Church. Which was dedicated on October 18, 1820 and was named Christ Church. Gardiner not only contributed the granite from his Litchfield quarry, but also covered $10,356 of the total cost of $14,171. Christ Church is one of the earliest “Gothick” style churches in New England and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Maine’s fist Episcopal Bishop, the Rt. Rev. George Burgess, DD, was Rector of Chris Church from 1847 – 1866. He died at sea off the coast of Haiti The large marble cross in the Burying Ground was “erected by the Dioceses of Maine in grateful remembrance of a faithful and beloved Bishop.”
1920 was a dual celebration for Christ Church and the Diocese of Maine, as the annual convention was held In Gardiner. To prepare for this occasion, ecclesiastical architects, Cram and Fergeson, were commissioned to design a new altar and reredos. Robert Hallowell Gardiner III selected Charles J Connick, Boston’s noted stained glass master, to create the great Chancel window.
The Paul Revere bell in the steeple no longer sounds for fires, floods and temperance meetings, but continues to call people for Sunday worship, and the 1820 bannerette weathervane atop the 120 ft. steeple still guides the way to the “Old Stone Church.’