A St. John's Church has stood on the Green in Washington for 200 years. One hundred years after the original wood Church was moved from Davies Hollow to this site it was deemed too small for the growing congregation. Our Church ancestors undertook the daunting task of building this stone Church in 1916 - during a time of economic depression and on the eve of global upheaval. They succeeded in just one year, laying the cornerstone on May 19, 1917 and completing the Church in time for Easter services in 1918. Designed by Ehrick Rossiter, decorated with paintings by Harry Siddons Mowbray and carvings of Herbert Faulkner, St. John's Church took its place as a community landmark.
Nearly 100 years later, as we approach the centennial of the present Church building, it is up to us to take on a similarly daunting task...restoring St. John's historic buildings - the Church and the Rectory, along with the Parish House and the Cottage - at a similarly challenging economic time. God willing, we, too, will succeed. Please contact the Parish Office by phone (860-868-2527) or email for detailed information.
The restoration of the Church will be an extensive undertaking that will take several years to accomplish, obviously at great expense. We hope to be able to address some urgently needed work in 2016, especially the roof and mortar repair. In 2015 work was done to restore a few of the windows at the north end of the Church and in the Sacristy which were in the worst repair (cracked and unable to close) and which contributed to the inefficiency of the heating system. We also replaced the window well grates which had virtually disintegrated with temporary covers.
damaged slate roof tiles
Roof and Tower: Replace original slate roof and underpinnings, seal joints at copings, repair tower and louvers.
Windows: Restore all leaded glass windows, replace window surrounds, repair wooden frames in basement windows. The Memorial Stained Glass Window was restored in 2012.
Masonry: Repair/replace granite; remove/repair/re-coat cast stone; replace coping and buttress caps
Structural: Repair joists in crawl space and hammer trusses
crumbling cast stone
Collapsing window frame (Sacristy)
The Rectory is the other historic building on the St. John's campus, and the second of three surviving 18th/19th century "Leavitt" houses in Washington, named after the original owner, Samuel Leavitt. The house occupies an important place in the history of the Town of Washington as it does in the history of St. John's, where it has been the home of every Rector of St. John's from 1887 to the present, except for the brief time from 2008-2009. We believe it is our responsibility as good stewards to maintain the Rectory as its history and the efforts of our founders deserve.
Over the past two years, we have become increasingly mindful of the unsightliness and structural decay of the Rectory and the need to begin a restoration project that would preserve this historic structure and return it to the condition its position on the Green warrants. In 2015, we proceeded with this work based on accelerating structural deterioration and the desire to avoid the need for more extensive work that would be required if the decay were permitted to advance unchecked.
The project was complicated by the fact the exterior of the Rectory was coated with lead-based paint which had to be removed in accordance with required environmental guidelines. The work was completed in late 2015, and included removing disintegrating trim and clapboards, repairing decaying and crumbling brick and steel piers supporting the foundation and stone stairs, sealing the foundation and floor cracks to prevent moisture infiltration, and removing peeling paint and repainting.
The Parish House
The Parish House was originally constructed in 1955. The building is a one-story conventionally framed wood structure with a partial basement and crawlspace below. The building was remodeled and expanded to the north in 1999 adding office space, a library, a new entrance, and increasing the usable space in the basement. The Parish House was last painted approximately 15 years ago and needs to be repainted. Window sills and frames are rotting and need to be replaced and the stone steps, walks, and patio area have deteriorated significantly. A critical structural issue in the roof truss system above the Parish Hall ceiling was corrected in 2011.
The Cottage, presently home to the Organist/Choirmaster, was constructed on the property of the Gunnery and moved to its present location in the late 1920s. A significant renovation/addition was undertaken 12 years ago, during which major areas of decay and deterioration were repaired, the foundation was reinforced and the roof replaced. Additionally, the north half of the building was reconfigured to include a new bathroom, bedroom, laundry, kitchen and garage. However, some issues remain and need to be addressed.