Christ Church in Ansonia has deep historical roots. Episcopal worship in the Naugatuck Valley dates back to colonial times. In 1737, the family of Captain John Holbrook and seven other families planned to build an Anglican church on the part of Derby that became Ansonia. The old graveyard on Elm Street is the site of the original parish, called Christ’s Church, which was completed in 1746.
The parish grew larger, and relocated to a building on Derby Avenue around 1799. The name of the church was changed to St. James. After 42 years, when the church moved across the river to a building on the green in Birmingham (now Derby), several families petitioned the diocese to allow them to worship in the old Derby Avenue location. They were admitted under the name of Christ Church (Derby) in 1843.
St. James (Birmingham) and Christ Church (Derby) joined together to organize a new parish in the growing town of Ansonia in 1849, purchasing a lot at the corner of Main and Tremont Streets and constructing a church there in 1850. The new parish was named Trinity Church. But by 1851, Christ Church (Derby) had merged with Trinity Church. From that time on, all records have been in the name of Christ Church Parish, Ansonia.
Christ Church on Main Street was enlarged twice, but by 1890 the parish had grown too large for its building. Local industrialist Franklin Farrel made a gift of land on South Cliff Street for the site of a new building. The new church was built of Ansonia granite and New Jersey graystone in the English gothic style. It was completed in time for Christmas services in 1896. The new church had a seating capacity for 650 people.
Although Christ Church had a reputation a century ago for keeping itself separate from the community, this is not the case anymore. Our parish motto is “Love Grows Here” and we try to live that out. We work hard to be engaged in Ansonia, Derby, and the greater Naugatuck Valley.
Our members participate in a number of active outreach programs: feeding the homeless, collecting food for the Kathleen Samela Memorial Food Bank, cooperating with the Valley Social Club, supporting the Heifer Project, and participating in charitable activities of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. We have a mission relationship with a parish in Tacusa, Ecuador. We host community dinners and musical events. We welcome you to join us in our ministry of growing the love of Christ in the Valley and beyond.
Our Clergy and Lay Leaders:
The Rev. Richard Beattie