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Church of the Holy Spirit
Episcopal Church

History of St John's by the Sea


The church began as a Sunday school founded in 1921 in the home of a Christ Church parishioner.  The Sunday school’s success led to over-crowding and many of the families wanted to include adult worship.  The families started a building fund and the Rev. Robert Johnson, curate at Christ Church, was appointed to run St. John’s as a mission of the Diocese of Connecticut.  In 1943 a large home on Ocean Avenue was purchased and converted to use as a church.  In 1953 a more formal brick structure housing the sanctuary, sacristy and undercroft was erected on the adjoining property.

The Rt. Reverend Laura Ahrens, bishop suffragan, presided at a service of secularization for the church building formerly housing St. John’s on May 25, 2008. The service included a period for reflections by the people gathered. The St. John’s bell was rung one last time, then was processed to the Church of the Holy Spirit, and rung in the chancel of the new parish. The bishop and congregation then celebrated the Eucharist at the Church of the Holy Spirit.