Glebe to celebrate 375th

Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A landmark church in Suffolk will celebrate its anniversary with a service from the past.

Glebe Episcopal Church of Suffolk will hold a special service Sunday for its 375-year anniversary. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. with clothing, sermons and music reflecting the time of the church’s founding.

“We’re celebrating 375 years, so we decided to go back and do something that was appropriate for that time,” said parish administrator Rebecca Mahoney.

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The service will use the Book of Common Prayer from 1559 with modernized spelling and cadence. Several members of the church will be dressed in period costume.

“It’s amazing to us that our service and our liturgy has not changed much over the past 375 years,” said Phyllis Edwards, committee chair for the occasion.

Lunch will be served after the service, and music will be provided by a Tidewater Winds quartet at 1 p.m. These musicians will play chamber music that was common in church during the 1600s, Edwards said.

The original frame church was built about 1643. The church was rebuilt in 1738, and, while it has been altered and repaired since then, that structure still stands to this day.

“The spirit of this church remains the same as it did 375 years ago,” Mahoney said.

The history of the church is intertwined with St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chuckatuck. The two churches united to form the Suffolk Parish in 1725, and for centuries the two congregations shared preachers.

St. John’s celebrated its own 375-year anniversary on June 4 with a homecoming celebration for active and former clergy.

“It’s humbling to actually be part of a church that’s been around as long as this has,” said the Rev. Leslie Ferguson. “It’s an amazing place to be. I’m cutting my teeth on American history and keeping a vision that keeps track of the past, but also has an eye for growing in the future.”

Glebe Church was founded with a focus on taking care of the Suffolk community. Its members remain active in the community to keep that spirit alive and going for the foreseeable future, Edwards said.

“I think it will be around another 375 years,” she said.

Call 538-8842 for more information.