Seventh Sunday of Easter

Today’s visit was to St John’s, Albion, where the congregation worships in a building constructed in 1842 and is the oldest Episcopal church building in Illinois in continuous use. The parish (and, to some extent, the town) was founded in 1838 by the Revd Benjamin Hutchins, who continued to serve until his death in the 1890s. The celtic cross pictured below marks his grave. To the right, the smaller headstones mark the graves of eight of his children, who perished of an unknown malady within a month of each other. (He and his wife had but one offspring survive into adulthood.) Sometimes I feel as though as stand on the shoulders of giants (Bishop Philander Chase braved harsh conditions in old age to travel to Albion for the consecration of St John’s). As I walked out of the cemetery, I invoked Fr Hutchins’ prayers for the heirs of his ministry. Today, the congregation of St John’s is quite small, coming from all the surrounding communities except Albion itself, but they are fine people, keen on being faithful disciples of Jesus.
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