History

The Episcopal Church in Hingham had its earliest beginnings with summer services held in the 1820s. The first regular services were held in Hingham Square over what is now Winston Flowers. In 1883 a small wooden building was erected on Main Street opposite Water Street and the Rev. Charles Wells was appointed the first priest in charge of the congregation.

In 1906, during the rectorship of the Rev. George Weld, the church building was moved across the street to the top of the hill, the site on which the present building is now located. The federal style house next

to the church, built in 1789, was purchased to serve as a rectory. A parish hall was added and the church was remodeled after a fire when a bell tower was added. In 1914, the present stone parish hall was erected, containing a gymnasium on the lower level.

In 1919, the old wooden building was razed and the present stone church was erected.  Made of locally quarried Weymouth “seam-face” granite, it was built as a gift of Mrs. Ezra Ripley Thayer in memory of her husband who had been Dean of the Harvard Law School. The church building was completed while the Rev. James Bullitt was Rector.  The Rev. Daniel Magruder was Rector from 1921 to 1951, a ministry that lasted through the Great Depression and World War II. He is remembered by many for his dramatic flair and kindly ways. Under his leadership, the church school expanded and a boys’ choir was established.

The Rev. John Gallop led the parish as Rector for the next twenty-eight years from 1951 to 1979 during which time the church was enlarged with the addition of offices and classrooms in 1954 – 1955 with the eventual addition of a parking lot and memorial garden for burial of ashes. St. John’s Nursery School shared the facilities for forty years until they built a school building of their own which is now Hingham Nursery School.

The Rev. Robert Edson served as Rector for the next twenty-six years from 1981 to 2007.  During those years the parish emphasized quality worship with a strong music program, Christian formation for all ages, youth programs and outreach efforts. In 1996 and in 2006, capital campaigns were held to raise funds for refurbishing the parish hall and classrooms, the organ, and the rectory.  The Rev. Timothy Schenck was installed as the eighth Rector of St. John’s in 2009 and the parish continues as a vibrant community of faith in the heart of Hingham.