The parish has historical significance to the region and to the United States. The church and cemetery serve as a living historical reminders of colonial America to the present. For example, one of the oldest tombstones in the cemetery is that of an Native American boy named Charles, who lived among the English colonials and was a member of the the parish. William Gibbs, OSA’s first Rector was jailed in Hartford for his stance against a state imposed church. The legal appeals of his incarceration established principles of freedom of religion which were later incorporated into the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
OSA’s campus, including church buildings and cemetery, is 4.65 acres in total.
The campus structures consist of the church building with additions and a pump house. The church building was first erected at another site in the 1806 and moved to its present location by ox-drawn sled and reassembled in 1828. From 1870 -1880, the parish engaged in major capital improvements to the church. The present altar with a prominent inscription “I am the Bread of Life” was carved by Mr. Williams, a former slave. Parishioners carved the present chancel rail and lectern and presented it to the church in 1870. In 1878, the church school commissioned the carved baptismal font as a gift to the church.
The church added the present parish hall in 1957 and and the present offices, kitchen, a rear porch and rooms and storage at ground level were built in 1962.
In the 2003- 2004, the parish renovated and modernize the sacristy and the kitchen, created a new library and added new carpeting to the parish hall. In addition, wheelchair accessibility was created by the construction of a ramp and a cut through between the parish hall and church building. Stain glass double doors were installed as an entrance from the church to the parish hall and offices.
In 2008, four new energy efficient furnaces were installed. In 2010, the pump house received a new roof and much needed window repairs. A new well pump was installed in 2014. Also, in 2014, the new playscape replaced an old one. The church organ also received much needed repairs. Additional storage space was also created in the parish hall. In 2015, rear emergency exit metal stairs were replaced by a wooden deck and stairs with ADA compliant handrails. Also in 2015, LED lighting was installed on handrails to light walkways in the evening.
The parish’s commitment to the Earth Charter and stewardship of the environment has guided us in choosing green sustainable construction and use of energy. The church uses biodiesel heating fuel and refitted the kitchen with energy efficient appliances and lighting in 2005.
Throughout its history, OSA has been lovingly maintained by parishioners. Today, a corps of parishioners consisting of craftspeople, designers, tradespeople and engineers monitor the maintenance needs including anticipated capital expenditures, which will include re-roofing the church, in the next few years.
Below are pictorial and video tours of the buildings and grounds. Place cursor over pictures for descriptions:
Click on the links below for a virtual tour:
Gardens and Grounds Tour below:
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