St. Anne’s celebrates 325th Anniversary with special eucharist


— St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland, is celebrating the 325th anniversary of its founding at a special Eucharist service on Sunday, September 10, 2017, celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen, assistant bishop of the Diocese of Maryland.

The service, and a luncheon to follow on the lawn of St. Anne’s in Church Circle, culminates a year-long commemoration by the church of its establishment after the passage by the Maryland General Assembly of the Act of Establishment in 1692, which included provisions for religious toleration.

“It has been a helpful exercise to learn more about our history as we move into our future together as a vibrant church,” said the Rev. Dr. Amy E. Richter, Rector of St. Anne’s. “With this much history as a community, we can’t say, ‘we’ve always done it this way,’ except that we have always gathered here to worship, pray, and try our best to love God and our neighbors. That has been our unbroken theme for 325 years.”

St. Anne’s has honored its history with a number of activities, including vignettes read at Sunday services that provide snapshots of the events taking place in and around the church since 1692 that have shaped the development of the parish. On “Honoring Sunday” April 30, St. Anne’s recognized members who have belonged to the Parish for 50 years or longer. Other commemorations have included the incorporation of liturgical music into Sunday services that reflect worship music in use in the early years of St. Anne’s. Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner, was among the early attendees of St. Anne’s.

Besides the private chapel in the home of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, where Roman Catholics worshipped, St. Anne’s was the only church in colonial Annapolis. It is one of the original 30 Anglican parishes in what was once the Province of Maryland. The original church had a bell donated by Queen Anne, which beckoned parishioners to services until it and the second church was destroyed by fire in 1858. The current church building dates to 1858 and is the third to be constructed for St. Anne’s.

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