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The historic Trinity Church, located at Broadway St and Wall St. is an active parish church in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Chartered by King William III, the church was purchased with a land grant of specifically sixty bushels of wheat as yearly rent. The purchased was approved for the Church of England community by New York City Governor, Benjamin Fletcher in 1696. The Church was initially headed by William Vesey, who served as rector for 49 years until his was deceased in 1746.
Parish of the Trinity Church has been made up of three reconstructed churches throughout history. The first Trinity Church building constructed in 1698, was home of the Trinity School. This is a charity school of the church founded by William Huddleston in 1709. The church was also home to parishioners who were members of the revolutionary New York Provincial Congress, First Continental and Second Continental Congresses. The first Trinity Church was destroyed in a massive fire which also burned hundreds of buildings in surrounding areas and left thousands of New Yorkers homeless.
The second Trinity Church began construction in 1788 and a few years later it was completed in 1790. Unfortunately this structure did not last very long. It was soon was torn down after it barely endured during multiple snow storms during the winter of 1838-1839. This lead the church into is third and final reconstruction.
The third Trinity Church completion finalized upon the year 1846 and is currently still present. The building featured a 281 foot spire and cross which erected as the highest point in New York until it was surpassed and overshadow by the New York World Building. Starting in the 19th Century, the third Trinity Church became the hosting site for the High School of Economics and Finance graduation ceremonies. The church is also the hosting site for many other countless events.
At the Trinity Museum you will find special exhibitions. “A Church for the New World: The History of Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel in New York” is a showcase of the parish from the 17th Century to the present. The Museum also holds artifacts dating from the 1840’s during the last construction of the third Trinity Church. Visitor will also be able to learn about how the royalty and revolutionaries played roles in the parish’s founding and how the pirates helped build the first Trinity Church in 1698.
Visiting the Parish of Trinity Church is a must visit destination for religious groups. When visiting the church be sure to tour all facilities. The Trinity Church facilities consist of the Trinity Church, Trinity Churchyard, Trinity Cemetery & Mausoleum, St. Paul’s Chapel, St. Paul’s Churchyard and Charlotte’s Place. Charlotte’s Place is a habitation of welcome and respite for the diverse communities that encompass Trinity’s Lower Manhattan neighborhood, regardless of religious affiliation, economic status, gender, age, and ability/disability, ethnic and cultural heritage.
-Written by OnBoard Staff Writer Demonte Thomas
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