Christ Church Newton Celebrates 250th Anniversary

Christ Church Newton
Posted Nov 5, 2019

The Rev. Canon Robert Griner reenacted the arrival of the Rev. Thomas Chandler at the Sussex County Court House on Nov. 3. Photo: Dan Freel, New Jersey Herald

Christ Episcopal Church in Newton is celebrating its 250th anniversary with a series of special events during the month of November. On November 3, the current Rector, the Reverend Canon Robert Griner, reenacted the November 1769 arrival of the Reverend Dr. Thomas Chandler at the Sussex County Court House, where the original Vestry was organized. A recitation of historic documents commenced at 9:15 a.m., followed by a procession to the church at 62 Main Street for a 10:00 a.m. service featuring a Choral Eucharist, baptism and a liturgy using the 1662 prayer book. A reception featuring period fare was offered in the parish house immediately following the service.

At 4 p.m. on November 3, the renowned Christ Church Newton Senior Choir presented “Hands Across the Sea,” a concert of sacred and patriotic works from both Britain and the United States. The concert featured soloists John Beasley, baritone, and Shannah Yerofeyev, soprano, and was accompanied by organ and orchestra.

Christ Church Newton was founded as a parish by the Church of England in 1769. The parish survived the revolution and became part of the Episcopal Church in the United States, first as part of the Diocese of New Jersey and later as a member of the Diocese of Newark. The cornerstone of the current church at 62 Main Street was laid on August 21, 1868. Over time, additional structures were added to the church complex; Anderson House, built in 1785, was moved to 62 Main Street in 1896. The two-story parish hall connecting the church and Anderson House was built and dedicated in 1969. To date, Christ Church Newton has employed only 19 Rectors since the Reverend Uzal Ogden took over the parish in 1770.

Other events during the month include an Evensong celebration on Saturday, November 23, at 7:30 p.m., at which The Right Reverend Dr. Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham (England) will preside. The Most Reverend Julio Murray, Bishop of Panama and Primate of Central America, will preach at the 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. services on Sunday, November 24. The month of festivities will conclude with a celebratory Gala at the Lake Mohawk Country Club on Sunday, November 24th at 3:00 p.m. with a keynote presentation by the Right Reverend Carlye Hughes, Bishop of the Diocese of Newark.

For more information about the “Hands Across the Sea” concert, or any of the other anniversary events taking place at Christ Church Newton, visit or call 973-383-2245.