WE ARE TRINITY: a small, strong congregation where nearly everyone is engaged in at least one or more ministries. From altar guild to acolytes, from Eucharistic ministers to Eucharistic visitors, we are devoted to deepening our spiritual life together. Although one may consider us small, our congregation is big in our commitment to our church. For example, we have eleven active altar guild members, nine Eucharistic ministers, six Eucharistic visitors and a large group of youth acolytes. Most of our group ministries, if not all, have rotating leadership and the leaders train new members. We support each other in these ministries and recently ran a campaign of “Try on Something New” in which individuals could work alongside various ministry members to experience what it was like to serve in those capacities. A large part of the congregation took up the challenge and tried new opportunities for ministries.
Trinity’s congregation encompasses the young, the old and everyone in-between and we care deeply for one another. About one hundred families strong, our parishioners come from Marshfield and the surrounding towns of Duxbury, Kingston, Plymouth, Pembroke, Scituate and Norwell.
We are a loving congregation in which everyone strives to meet the needs of our families, our parish and our community. Our strong sense of community is reinforced every Sunday through worship and fellowship, building our connections with one another and welcoming new faces. As a congregation we are not afraid to get our hands dirty, roll up our sleeves and work. While willing to embrace change, we want to do it thoughtfully and respectfully, balancing a congregational sensibility with Anglican tradition.
History of Trinity Marshfield
“Pre-Revolutionary War (1742-1775):
Records show that our church was first established in 1745 and met in a structure near Ferry and Grove Streets in a neighborhood called Centre Marshfield. In 1790 the parish was incorporated by the Commonwealth as the Episcopal Protestant Society in Marshfield and was represented in the 1790 Diocesan convention in Boston. Trinity Marshfield was the 10th Episcopal Church established in Massachusetts.
Revolutionary War (1776-1782):
In 1775, the Town of Marshfield was made up of citizens evenly split between Tories (favoring English rule) and Patriots (favoring independence). After a second vote at a Town Meeting, the Town of Marshfield was placed among the rebel/Patriot towns in Massachusetts.
It is reasonable to assume that if colonial Trinity was associated with of the Church of England, that a majority of its members were Tories loyal to the Crown. By the end of 1776 a large number of Tories left the Boston area (which likely included Marshfield) for Nova Scotia or the British Isles decimating the Episcopal Protestant Society in Marshfield and the Diocese of Boston in general.
Post-Revolutionary War (1783-1826):
Little evidence was found to indicate that Trinity Church was in operation as a parish church during the latter part of this four-decade period. It is probable that local Episcopalians eventually worshipped in nearby communities of Hanover, Cohasset, and Duxbury although the travel times to these villages took most of the day by horse and carriage.
Phoenix Rising I: (1826-1853):
In 1826 a Queen Anne-style Episcopal church structure was built in Centre Marshfield. Sadly, this rebirth did not last longer than 30 years. Some prominent families of Marshfield (whose antecedents were Church of England churchgoers) purchased pews in the 1826 church sanctuary. Because of dwindling attendance, the church elders decided to close Trinity and to sell the structure to the Town in 1853. The resulting income was distributed to the pew owners proportionately to the amount they paid for the pew. The structure is now the home of the North River Arts Society.
Civil War and World War I:
There does not seem to be any available records of the churches used by Episcopalians living in Marshfield during these conflicts yet dozens of Marshfield men served.
Phoenix Rising II (1916-1961):
Powers writes “The Trinity Mission began with occasional services in the homes of a few families” in the North Marshfield, Marshfield Hills and Sea View neighborhoods. Services were conducted by visiting priests or deacons from the Diocese perhaps once or twice a month.” A visiting Episcopal priest or deacon would convene services and give Communion in these cramped conditions for decades to serve Episcopalians in both Marshfield and Scituate.
In the 1950s, the women of the Trinity mission secured a one-room public schoolhouse (that had been de-commissioned by the Town of Marshfield) located in the Sea View neighborhood for services. Visiting priests continued to hold services in the new quarters. An 1898 Estey pump organ was used for music and the congregation grew under the guidance of Arch-Deacon Herbert Johnson.
Back in the 1830s the Baptists in Marshfield decided to build a simple church modeled after a meetinghouse on Highland Street in East Marshfield (now Marshfield Hills) because the first Baptist Church on Plain Street near the Pembroke line became overcrowded. They added a tower, steeple and choir loft within a few decades. At the turn of the 20th century, an addition was built to house the altar and sacristy.
But in the mid-20th century, the attendance in the second Baptist church declined motivating that congregation to merge with the North Community Church, also in Marshfield Hills, abandoning maintenance on the second Baptist Church. The elders of the merged church offered the Trinity mission the old church building for $1. Under the guidance of Arch-Deacon Johnson the mission Vestry decided to invest $16 thousand in repairs and adopt the Highland Street church. But the one-room schoolhouse/mission church was not abandoned. It was moved by the congregation to a location just behind the newly acquired church. It became known as Johnson Hall in honor of the Arch-Deacon. After a significant addition to old school building it became Trinity’s parish hall. Soon after, the Trinity parish lost its mission status and hired a priest for services.
Current period (1962- present):
In the 1960s, women of Trinity Church convinced the Vestry to borrow $100 thousand from the Diocese to build a community school to be used for early childhood education. The Steeple School building is located behind Johnson Hall and consists of seven classrooms, an office and a common room. Soon after the first year of operation by volunteers, a full time professional teaching staff was added as the enrollment expanded rapidly. The Steeple School is flourishing.
In the 1950’s a prominent architect, Royal Barry Wills, designed a residence for Trinity’s priest which was built west of Johnson Hall. In 2013 this Rectory building was upgraded inside and out.”
Come visit the Trinity Campus, now that you have read its interesting history.