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Historic Buildings of Bristol: Trinity Episcopal Church

Photo (c) Historic Buildings of Connecticut

Photo (c) Historic Buildings of Connecticut

Episcopalians in Bristol separated from the dominant Congregational church in 1747. They built a church in 1754, located on the site of the later Thomas H. Patterson School (now Patterson Place Apartments).

This early church closed during the Revolutionary War in the face of strong anti-Loyalist feeling. After the war, the dilapidated church was sold to be used as a barn (it later burned in a fire).

A new Episcopal church, called Trinity Church, was built in 1834 on Maple Street. This building was sold and moved to Forestville to become the a Methodist Church. It was later destroyed in a fire.

The next Trinity Church building was constructed on Main Street in 1862. It was moved around the corner to High Street, across from the Bristol Public Library, in 1889. When this church was destroyed by fire in 1945, Dudley S. Ingraham donated land on Summer Street–the site of a house that had been destroyed by fire–for a new Trinity Church, which was dedicated on Easter Day, 1949.

The church’s rose window, facing Summer Street, was given by Ingraham in memory of his son, Dudley, Jr., who was killed in action during World War II. The church’s tower and parish house were added in 1954. At the start of the twenty-first century, Trinity Episcopal Church became one of the “Connecticut Six,” a group of Episcopal churches whose orthodox beliefs conflict with those of the state’s Episcopal hierarchy.

Threatened with a lawsuit by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, the congregation vacated the church building on Summer Street in 2008.

Content provided by Historic Buildings of Connecticut

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