Saint Mark's Episcopal Church

10 Saint Mark's Rd

Burlington, MA 01803

History

In the spring of 1957, a small group of Burlington residents came together to establish an Episcopal church in town. They met weekly at residents Barbara and Bob Jefferson’s home and the meeting was conducted by Rev. Donald Noseworthy. This group continued to meet weekly and spent hours on the phone recruiting other people to help them. They finally reached a total of fourteen people willing to do everything in their power to see an Episcopal church in Burlington—they were:  Barbara and Bob Jefferson, Eleanor and Ernest Figenbaum, Dot and Ed Mooney, Lee and Fred Caret, Louise Bryson, Barbara and Tome Houlihan, Robert and Evelyn Hurley and
Penney Newton.

 

With the help of The Church of Our Redeemer in Lexington, Trinity Church in Woburn, and Church of the Epiphany in Winchester, the group held their first worship service in 1958. It was held in the American Legion Hall on Winn street, the site of the first town dump. Babysitting was held behind the bar, and some members of the group would arrive early on Sunday mornings, before the children arrived, to empty all the bottles from the night before.

As time went on, the size of the congregation increased and soon the Legion Hall was far too small to fill the group’s needs. As families would come to worship, members would have to squeeze closer together to make room, and then listen to the kids complain that they were squished.  Soon they couldn’t squeeze any closer together and decided to put in a 911 call to the Diocese for help.

A group of dedicated Episcopalians went searching for land in Burlington that would be affordable and convenient. The land where the Presbyterian church now stands on Cambridge Street was for sale at the same time that the land where St. Mark’s now stands—they decided.

 

In 1960 the Rev. Clifford Chadwick, became our first Vicar of the Mission and an octagonal portable sanctuary was erected on the chosen site. By vote of the parishioners, it was named St. Mark’s.

 

St. Mark’s continued to grow, and even with the addition of an Educational Building, we were still cramped for space.  The constant cry was—if you want a place to sit, you better be early. The Diocese was contacted, financial help was approved for a new building.

 

Parishioners continued to use the portable church, but on October 3, 1971 the last service was held in the little building.  There were 232 members present. The next three services were held downstairs in the Parish Hall.

 

In 1978, we were accepted as a parish by the Diocesan Convention, and The Rev. William Seaward was elected our first Rector.