DANBURY — On Jan. 15, St. James’ Episcopal Church will begin a yearlong celebration of its 250-year history of service in Danbury. The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Shori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church will celebrate the Eucharist and preach at the 10 a.m. service at the church at 25 West Street, Danbury.
On Jan. 15, following the service at Saint James’, there will be a celebratory lunch at the Amber Room Colonnade. While the service is open to all, reservations are required for the lunch. All are welcome, call (203) 748-3561 to join the luncheon at the Amber Room.
St. James’ history began as an Anglican Church, a part of the Church of England. The Rev. Ebenezer Dibbles, a Danbury native and former Congregational minister, was ordained a priest in England in 1748. He took a special interest in establishing a Church of England parish in his hometown and officiated at the opening of the first church building on South Street (the current South Street School is currently on the same property) in 1763.
The Revolutionary War began in 1775 and St. James’ played an interested part. Rumor has it that while at Norwalk, British General Tryon was tipped off by Episcopalian pro-British Tories that there were great amounts of Colonial supplies stored in Danbury. The British did come to Danbury, found various military stores and burned them along with “the meeting house,” whether the Meetinghouse was the Congregational Church we do not know. St. James’ Church, where munitions were actually secretly stored, was spared by the British soldiers because it was still officially a part of the Church of England.
Over the years, St. James’ has reached out in into the community in many ways. At one time, there was an Episcopal military school located on Deer Hill Avenue. It is the “mother Church” of St. Thomas’ Church, Bethel. While sitting on the porch of the Rectory, the Rev. Aaron Coburn came up with the idea to establish what we now know as Wooster School. St. James’ was one of the founding parishes of the Association of Religious Communities (ARC), Amos House, and Daily Bread food pantry. Counted among the 36 Rectors of St. James’, 4 have gone on to become Bishops.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Krasinski is the 36th Rector of St. James’. He began his tenure in September of 2009. Before coming to Danbury, Krasinski was the rector of St. Peter’s-Trinity Church in Thomaston, Christ Church in Canaan and curate at Christ and Holy Trinity Church in Westport. On Jan. 15, he celebrates the 29th anniversary of his ordination to the Sacred Priesthood. He is married to Jim Hughes and has two grown daughters, Bonni and Tess who both live in Connecticut.
The Associate Rector Iris E. Peterson, is a native of Pennsylvania where members of her family continue to reside. She is a graduate of the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City. Mo. Peterson joined the St. James’ Episcopal Church staff in December of 2002. [She is often seen around town on the city buses.]
For additional information or to make a lunch reservation contact Krasinski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 748-3561.