300th Gathering Events
Church Open House and Community Sidewalk Chalk Art Mosaic, Arts Festival Saturday, July 30, 9 AM – 2 PM
Beach Party, Singing Beach Sunday, August 28, 4 PM
300th Anniversary Gathering Celebration, Gale’s Point
Sunday, September 11, 10 AM (Rain Date – September 18)
Jazz Sunday Sunday, September 25, 10 AM
Soup & Conversation with Margaret Bendroth, on Congregational Church History Sunday, October 2, 11:30 AM
Bob Milne Concert Saturday, October 8, 5 PM
Progressive Dinner Saturday, October 22, 6 PM
Soup & Conversation with Rev. Edward Matuvhunye of Zimbabwe Sunday, October 23, 11:30 AM
Covenant Signing Sunday, November 20, 10 AM
Pot Luck Supper Saturday January 21, 2017 (Time to be determined)
The first worship service was held under a tree on Gale’s Point in 1630, when the first settlers landed in Manchester in 1630. From 1635 to 1716 they worshiped with the Salem and then with the Beverly churches. Our church was founded on November 7, 1716 with a membership of nine men and ten women. The church grew rapidly in the 1700’s.
Our present building is the fourth in a series of meeting houses. It was completed in 1809 at a total cost of $8500. The townspeople rallied around to help build it in the fashion of an old barn-raising. The building was then jointly owned by the proprietors and the town. In 1844, members of the parish scraped together $3000 and purchased the building. It was refurbished in 1846, and again in 1890. The latest renovations occurred through the past 3 years when the Steeple (including the Bell Cradle and Clock Faces) was repaired. The exterior was painted in 2015.
In 1857 about two-thirds of the church members seceded and held services in what is now our chapel. They settled their differences and reunited twelve years later. Since then the church members have worshiped together in harmony with few setbacks.