St. Aidan's, an Episcopal summer chapel, is home to a devoted and vibrant community that welcomes warmly persons of all faiths to our services. For many people, St. Aidan’s is the alternative to their home church, to others, it is their only house of worship. Often churchgoers attend services while visiting family and friends on vacation. Celebrating Christ’s love and teachings in a charming and historic summer setting is only part of what makes St. Aidan's so unique. Services are held from late June through early September.
We invite you and your family to worship with us this summer. From listening to and praying with our accomplished and devout summer chaplains, to our commitment to bring God’s blessings to those in need in the Greater New Bedford area, St. Aidan’s is a joyful and nourishing experience.
St. Aidan’s is served by five distinguished visiting chaplains from around the country. Ordained Episcopal ministers, preach, and conduct services on twelve consecutive Sundays from June 25 through September 10, 2023. By offering differing voices in a beautiful place, their ministry enhances the spiritual life and fellowship of the Chapel in significant ways.
We are inclusive to all, just as we believe God is inclusive to all. Please join us. Everyone is welcome!
In the early 1900s Wilson R. Stearley, Bishop of Newark, held services for the congregation at the Salter's Point Inn (which no longer stands) and in his own Salter's Point home. It is said that he created a communion rail from a well-placed oar.
In 1917, when the need for a permanent building was clear, the Chapel was built in the apple orchard of the Houghton family. Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. deeded the site to St. Aidan's Chapel of Dartmouth, Inc., in 1945, and St. Aidan's joined the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. The rectory, located across Smith Neck Road from the Chapel, was erected on land given by Daniel M. Beach in the following year. For seventy years, this charming four-bedroom cottage continues to house visiting summer ministers, their families and guests.
No one has been able to determine why the Chapel was named for the seventh-century Saint Aidan, missionary Bishop of Northumbria, but he was a fine choice. Ancient records praise the saint for his teachings, gifts of alms to the poor, protection of animals and the monastery he established on the Island of Lindisfarne, on England's northeast coast near the Scottish border. He was at home on the sea as are the members of the St. Aidan’s Chapel community today.
In keeping with its coastal surroundings, the 105-year old clapboard chapel is noted for its informality and seaside themes. It accommodates 85 people. The altar hangings and needlepoint kneelers, showcasing local fish and a variety of sea birds, have been designed or made by members of the congregation. The baptismal font is shaped like a shell and surrounded by a beautifully hand embroidered rug. Even the minister's stole is light blue and decorated with fish imagery. The Altar Guild provides seasonal flower arrangements from the members own gardens throughout the summer.
St. Aidan's Memorial Garden is located just west of the chapel. The names of persons remembered in the Memorial Garden appear on small plaques mounted on the inner south wall of the chapel.
Today, the St. Aidan’s community is composed of multi-generational families and friends who continue the tradition of worshipping together near the sea. From its humble beginnings to the present, the chapel has always been committed to bringing people together to celebrate God’s love and blessings in a special location.
St. Aidan's is governed by an elected Standing Committee and Corporation.
Standing Committee 2023
- Pam McNamara, Chair
- Karyn Campbell, Treasurer
- Bruce Severance, Assistant Treasurer
- Paul Needham, Secretary, and Clerk of the Corporation
- George Andrews
- Merita Hopkins
- Barbara Mulville
- Tina Read
- Jane Reynolds Weigel
St. Aidan's Chapel of Dartmouth, Inc., is a corporation with Articles and Bylaws. As part of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, St. Aidan's adheres to the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, a document that provides the framework for the chapel's organization, governance, and worship. St. Aidan's policies regarding use of the chapel for private services are derived from this body of rules.
Christenings, weddings, and memorial services are available for members of St. Aidan’s and their extended families. All such services are governed by The Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, Title I: Organization and Administration. Canons 18 and 19 specifically address requirements for marriages and remarriages in an Episcopal Church within the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.
For inquiries about baptisms, weddings or memorial services and the minimal contributions expected, please contact: Pam McNamara, Chair of the Standing Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee Chairs for 2023
There are many volunteer committees that support the varied activities of St. Aidan’s every year. Members of the Standing Committee and the Corporation serve as chair of each committee. These committee assignments will continue to be updated throughout the year.
Altar Guild and Chalice Bearers- Helen Pennoyer (email@example.com) Jim Ring (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Buildings and Grounds - John Greenup
Clergy Welcome and Support - George Andrews (email@example.com)
Communications - Jane Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Flowers - Mary Cook (email@example.com)
Landscaping and Grounds - Tina Reed (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Memorial Garden - Tom Swift (email@example.com)
Outreach - Virginia Needham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rectory and Housekeeping - Tina Reed (email@example.com)
Ushers - Pam McNamara (Pwmcnamara@comcast.net)
Honorary Members of the Corporation
- Judith and Peter Stanton
Term Expiring 2023
- Mary Cook
- Tom Davis
- Edie Lauderdale
- Virginia Needham
- Winnie Phyfe
- Bruce Severance
- Beverly Sutton
Term Expiring 2024
- Stewart Forbes
- Elizabeth Hurson
- Andrew Keating
- Elaine Murphy
- Helen Pennoyer
- Terry Severance
- Catherine Vangel
Term Expiring 2025
- Holly Day
- Sarah Englis
- Listo Fisher
- John Greenup
- Kimberlea Jeffries
- Katy Keches