Our parish’s worship of Almighty God takes place today in a church building that is 170 years old. Built in 1843 of native granite, Christ Church was the culmination of the dedicated efforts of its first rector, The Rev. Robert Bolton. Father Bolton had five sons (each became Episcopal priests) and eight daughters. Two of the Bolton sons, William and John, became the premier stained glass artisans of their time and created many of the stained glass windows in the church, including The Adoration of the Magi, which is the first figured stained glass window made in America. They also constructed the side altar, reredos, and altar rail. The brothers carved and painted the corbels, which sit at the base of the rafters.
Two of the Bolton daughters established missions that became Grace Church, City Island, and the Church of the Redeemer in North Pelham. The Rev. Cornelius Bolton, fourth son of the Rev. Robert Bolton, served as the Rector of the Church of the Redeemer for twenty-five years, starting in 1881. Christ Church and the Church of the Redeemer continued as distinct parishes for the next ninety years, drawing their congregations from separate areas of Pelham.
By the early 1970′s, it had become clear that the town of Pelham could no longer support two Episcopal parishes. About the time that Pelham’s Episcopal family was facing up to this reality, the Diocese undertook a project called “Mission 72,” calling every parish to do some serious soul searching and planning for the future. Mission 72 provided the impetus for Christ Church and the Church of the Redeemer to look seriously at merging into one parish.
The resulting study showed the time was right. Membership was down in both churches, other denominations were growing in Pelham, and logic pointed to joining together as one united Episcopal parish. After prayerful consideration by both congregations and both vestries, a decision was made to become the united Parish of Christ the Redeemer. Christ Church was selected as the house of worship and the property of the Church of the Redeemer was turned over to the Town of Pelham to be used for a municipal hall, a center for senior citizens and a child care facility.
The unified Parish of Christ the Redeemer has become one strong, closely bonded family looking forward confidently to the future as we worship and serve Almighty God.
We have had fifteen Rectors. Please click here for information on our rectors.