Video History

Jim LaBelle & Don Cole Present:
A History of St. John’s Episcopal Church – Gloucester, Massachusetts

Part 1


“Birth of a Parish” covers the period from the first Anglican services on Cape Ann in 1625 through the building of the church in 1864. Explained are the motives for the founding of the parish and the people responsible as well as the development of the Episcopal Church. This begins the several part series on the history of St. John’s in the context of the history of Gloucester, Massachusetts, once the nation’s primary fishing port. This documentary was created in celebration of St. John’s 150th anniversary on October 7th, 2013. A revision of Part 1 was posted on February 15, 2015.

Part 2


“A Free Church in Gloucester” covers the building of the church in1864 through the arrival of The Reverend Joseph H.C. Cooper in 1908. Parish history is interwoven with the story of Gloucester’s fishing boomtown years and the incredible toll sustained by the fishing families, many of whom were Anglicans from the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. A complete revision of Part 2 with additional material was posted on March 10, 2015.

Part 3


“The Reverend Mister Cooper” covers the period between 1908 and 1936, when Joseph H. C. Cooper was minister. World War 1, the 1918 flu pandemic and the Great Depression are discussed with an emphasis on the interesting and dedicated parishioners from this time. Among these were John Hays Hammond Sr. and his family, the actor Leslie Buswell (who with A. Piatt Andrew began the American Field Service in World War I) and Ben Pine, a fisherman from Newfoundland who started the schooner racing competition with the Canadians. Current St. John’s members Bill Chapin and Sereda Feener tell depression era stories. A complete revision of Part 3 with several minutes of additional material was posted on March 30, 2015.

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