Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trinity Church, Newport, Rhode Island

Church steeples shape the skyline of many New England towns.  And Newport is no exception.

Zooming In


Built by Richard Munday (1725-26) Based, They Say, On Works By Sir Christopher Wren 

Yet Trinity Church is exceptionally beautiful, even by New England's highest standards.

One of the wonderful things about this church is that it hasn't been ruined during its various restorations.


Families would buy their own box pew.

The box pews minimized drafts and families would bring buckets of embers to keep their boxes warm.  

Each box has its own unique needlepoint kneelers.
Historically, this front pew has been used for distinguished guests.  Today also, if anyone attends in a military uniform, they are seated here.

Trinity Church has hosted some very honored guests over the years.









A Wine Glass Pulpit and Sounding Board 








Tiffany Windows


The original organ case is from the early 1700s.

From this vantage point, one can see the individuality expressed in the boxes not seen when one first enters. 




A Most Knowledgeable And Amiable (Not to Mention Funny) Guide 


Visit their website at http://www.trinitynewport.org/

A View to the Water
Inside the Trinity Church Parish House...



The neighborhood is worthy of the church.



Willys-Overland Jeepster circa 1950

It is not often that one sees a V16, as in this Cadillac from the 1930s. 

Newport houses have some beautiful interior details as well as exterior.

Walls Of Planks


The British Answer to Delft Tiles

Newport is famous for many things,  including having the greatest number of colonial buildings of any city in the US.  It takes so many iterations to absorb even just some of all that there is to see.

Note: A reader sent this view of Newport from 1730.  The saying goes that the best time to live in Newport was before the revolution.


Susan R said...

Absolutely stunning woodwork, stained glass and design at Trinity. The private boxes are the most amazing thing I've ever seen in a church. Gorgeous! Thank you for the tour.

Paul Connors said...

I'm and Episcopalian and when I was an US Navy officer candidate at NETC Newport in 1982, I attended Trinity Church every Sunday that I was not on duty. The rector at the time was D. Lorne Coyle. I once had the honor of sitting in the same box with then Senator Caliborne Pell. It is truly a beautiful church and worth all they do to preserve it.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Leave it to us Episcopalians to have box seats at church!
Beautiful photos..thanks!
We will be on Block Island for the 4th...wave as you sail by...

Michael Rowe said...

Magnificent post! I feel as though I've been on a mini-holiday. This is my favourite sot of blogging, aesthetically-beautiful and intelligent at the same time. Tremendous.

Anonymous said...

Love the blog,i look forward to each post with eager anticipation.Veiwing as an English person although the new England culture is "windswept and interesting". It is also vaguely familiar,due to our cultures having the same long distant root (distant cousins).Trinty Church reminds me so much of my local church from Childhood ,ST Marys ,Battersea.
The present building was completed in 1777,William Blake was married there and interestingly Benedict Arnold is burried in the Crypt.Thank you so much, Kind regards & a belated happy birthday Tony (from London)

Beth said...

I loved the article and photographs of beautiful
Trinity Church. Thank you.

chris said...

Fascinating! Another fabulous "field trip" - beautiful and fascinating!

binker said...

I love beautiful churches. Trinity Church in Boston has needlepoint kneelers. I think they are wonderful and much more comfortable than kneeling on wood. When I was at the Vatican during the Holy Year...a priest was kind enough to pray for me despite the fact that I wasn't Catholic. However, his prayer was very, very long and eventually, I had to interrupt him and ask him if I could stand as my knees were killing me. I told him my church had needlepoint cushions. I'm sure I offended him..but, he kindly gave me his email address and we stayed in touch for years. It felt kind of weird to think, for that year, that I was emailing the Vatican. Anyway....I now love Trinity Church in Newport (if only vicariously through your photos, Muffy). I was just in Newport today...and will be back later in the week. Now, I am on a mission to go check it out in person ;)

Canon Richards said...

Thank you for your beautiful photos of and kind words about Trinity Church. We love sharing this unique gift with folks from all over the world and want it known that we are more than just an historic building. For more than 300 years Trinity has been an active community of faith in Newport. Today's congregation worships in this great sanctuary and serves our neighbors near and far. Please do come and visit again!

Billsburg said...

Thank you so much for this post. I love old churches too and this one is particularly beautiful - will add it to our list of things to see the next time we're in Newport.

Have you ever been to Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA? Prominent members of the colony had similar boxes and their engraved nameplates are mounted on the boxes today. (Our family wasn't quite as prominent as people like the Washington and Jefferson families - "our" box is the last one in the church). I'm curious though about the pews in the balcony and if that seating had an significance?

Joyce N said...

What an elegant building!

Thank you for the fantastic pictures!

What a pleasure - as always!
Joyce N

Mummy said...

Absolutely beautiful church. Could you imagine a wedding there? Thank you for the tour!

Laurie said...

Thanks for this posting. I'll be in Newport for the flower show and America's Cup and will make a point of stopping by Trinity!

missi said...

I was raised Episcopalian and Trinity church is beautiful (like so many Epis. churches.) I'm now a Methodist and our church is functional but not beautiful. I miss that. My parents and mother-in-law will love seeing these pictures. Thank you for your always interesting and educational posts.

Yankeegirl said...

I love the memorial plaques that many old churches display on the walls. The one in memory of Oliver Hazard Perry placed by his wife is a marvel of understatement -- and oh-so-preppy!

Michael Rowe said...

Since viewing the pictures of Trinity, I've been haunted by the sense of having seen it before. I just now realized it was the shooting location of the wedding scene in the Michael Cunningham-scripted film of Susan Minot's novel, Evening.

Emily said...

What a gorgeous church. Love the memorial plaques.

Samantha said...

I know this post is a few days old, but I keep returning to it. I'm not religious at all, but that is one of the loveliest churches I have ever seen!

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Did notice, however, that the cushion should be H.M. Elizabeth II, not H.R.H ... But that's just being picky. Beautiful church.