Upcoming Special Events
250th CHURCH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
A highlight of Christ Church’s 2019 commemorative observance will take place at 10:00 am on June 30th as we observe the 250th anniversary of our historic church building with a special celebration.
The worship service will be celebrated by our Bishop, the Reverend William (Chip) Stokes, and will feature special music by St. Gregory’s Choir and our performing artists in residence, the five-member vocal group MadRegalia.
There will also be an exhibit of images of the church through the centuries in photography and art (see below).
Following the service, there will be a luncheon and reception for the Bishop, parishioners and guests at the Parish House on Sycamore Avenue.
This event is free and open to the public. More information at christchurchshrewsbury.org.
Samples of 250-Year-old Christ Church in Art and Photography
YOUTH GROUP PRIME!!
Calling all Middle and High School Students! And their parents!!!
A new program this September, focusing on Friendship, Fun, and Faith Formation. Our youth will learn about the Scriptures, about the beliefs of the Christian Faith, and will begin preparation for Confirmation.
Our Kick-Off meeting will be Sunday, September 24th from 5pm to 7pm. We will lay out the program, share a meal together, and start getting to know one another. Beginning in October we will meet twice a month, the second and fourth Sundays. For this initial meeting, we invite our parents/guardians to join their teens in attending and having supper with us. Please RSVP by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)or call the Church Office (732-741-2220) so we can plan accordingly.
Ongoing Special Events
MASS ON THE GRASS
Beginning Saturday, June 8th at 5pm, Christ Church will again be holding service outdoors each Saturday throughout the summer. Mass on the Grass is Holy Eucharist with a casual setting. Bring your own lawn chair! The music, liturgy, and dress will all be less formal than what you will find on a Sunday morning. An altar is set up at the south end of the little strip at the back of our parking lot waiting your arrival. This service is meant for all the family; bring a blanket for the kids to sit on, and a toy or two, as well. Pets welcome as well. We will provide everything else.
*click on flyer to enlarge
Moravian chicken pies
Moravian Pies are once again available! You can pick one up on Sundays or during office hours until we are sold out! They are also available at our Holiday Bazaar on December 7th and 8th. See information about the Lantern Tour and Holiday Bazaar elsewhere on the web site.
Our last batch of pies sold like hot cakes! Each pie serves four generously and comes to you at a low cost of $14.00. Pies come frozen and ready to go straight into your freezer or into your oven. Never had a Moravian Chicken Pie? They are similar to a chicken pot pie – however they do not contain any of those pesky vegetables your mother so wanted you to eat. Simply dark and light meat chicken with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, butter, and just enough flour to turn its own juices into a light gravy.
GRAVESTONE RESTORATION GRANT ACTIVITY
Jen and Danielle, conservators from Jablonski Building Conservation are working on the next set of 16 gravestones to be restored. Here they are seen working on the base attachment for the gravemarker of Shepard Kollock.
SELF-GUIDED TOUR BOOKLET FOR THE GRAVEYARD
For some years we have had a self-guided tour brochure for visitors wishing to view the inside of our historic church. Now we are pleased to have a similar guide for the graveyard. This beautifully designed and informative brochure guides the visitor to many of the interesting graves and gravemarkers in our remarkable cemetery. The brochure contains information about some of the notable personages interred in the graveyard and images of some of the artistry exhibited on a number of interesting gravemarkers. These are all located on a map of the graveyard.
This brochure was created by five students in a graduate class in Public Archaeology taught by Dr. Richard Veit at Monmouth University. The students used information from our graveyard records including the Genealogy of the Graveyard, the scripts for the Costumed Graveyard portrayals, and the survey map of the graveyard. They then selected the specific personages and gravemarker artistry and synthesized these into this beautiful booklet.
Some of these brochures are in the narthex. In addition, at the July 1 Independence Day service, this brochure was distributed and described by Bob Kelly in a “virtual” tour in the nave.
For those who wish to take this self-guided tour the graveyard is always open. The brochure is available in the parish office, usually open from 9 am to 2 pm on Tu-Fr. There is also a brochure holder attached to the arbor at the juncture of the parking lot and the brick walkway.
Queeni Caay Scholarship
Walter Dein is a Christ Church parishioner who has been involved with an outreach program in the Philippines providing financial support for children in need. Queeni Caay, a high school student, is one such student and one with special financial needs. Here is her story.
Queeni grew up in a palm reed weaved shanty with her grandmother and younger brother on the tiny island of Dinagat, Philippines. Her father left even before she was born, and her mother works as a live-in house maid in the distant City of Davao where she could not include her children.
When Queeni was 13 and her brother, Howard, was 8 their elderly grandmother died. This left young Queeni in charge of Howard and herself. During this time, it was Queeni attending Howard’s parent teacher conferences and concentrating on her own studies. Undernourished and nearly overwhelmed by her circumstances, Queeni contracted a very serious case of Typhoid fever. The doctor said if she had waited any longer to seek medical help she would have died. Sadly, the disease has left her heart valves scarred and as she grows, this gradually puts an increased strain on her damaged heart.
She is active in Girl Scouts and with her own undertaking, she has organized and leads a growing weekly Bible study for her school. At one point the school authorities had considered stopping the Bible study until the students petitioned to allow it to continue and the teaching staff recognized the good and positive influence it was making on the students.
With no fatherly support what so ever, and an impoverished mother who is barely earning enough to support herself, Queeni saw no possibility of attend college even with her impressive achievements. She tried applying for scholarships, but the possibility of attending college was just an elusive dream.
Queeni graduates this spring. She is an active member of the school yearbook committee. College begins in June.
Through Christ Church, a scholarship fund has been established to help cover her college costs, beginning with an annual tuition of $800.
NEW VIDEOS OF CHRIST CHURCH
Four videos describing various perspectives of Christ Church have been created. These videos provide information about the Church and feature aerial video of the Church building and surrounding graveyard.
The videos were taken by Jeff Smith, videographer from Atlantic Highlands and composed By Amanda Kontor. Amanda was a student intern from Monmouth University and a Communications major. She has now graduated and is attending graduate school at the University of Vienna.
Introduction to Christ Church: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt7AdNj1hk8
Christ Church History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ggFsBpID8g
The Christ Church Graveyard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im51q2bw6sk
Our Spiritual Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM5dlJU6dS4
Girl’s Friendly Society
2017 – 2018
Kind Heart, Fierce Mind and Brave Spirit
GFS is open to all girls ages 5 through 21
The Purpose of the Girl’s Friendly Society is to help girls understand what it means to be a Christian within their own particular life situations; to discover their own relationships with God, family, community and the world to help girls utilize their given talents, to attain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth through program centering around worship, fellowship, service, study and creative activities. In other words, we hope to be an asset to our girls as they grow into womanhood.
CHRIST CHURCH RECEIVES HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRANT
Christ Church has been awarded a grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust for preservation of its historic graveyard. The grant award is for $117,413 and includes a 1:1 match by the Parish. Here is a description of the scope and participants in the work that has been funded.
CHRIST CHURCH SHREWSBURY GRAVESTONE RESTORATION
The graveyard at Christ Episcopal Church in Shrewsbury is an historic one. The land has been used as a graveyard since the acquisition of the property in 1706. The oldest gravestone dates from 1719 and the markers are of every composition and design. The graveyard has been continually active since its inception and forms an historical record of the evolution of the area. The graveyard has about 1500 souls interred and 880 gravemarkers.
The proposed project involves the restoration and preservation of a significant number of deteriorating or fallen gravemarkers. This project can be viewed as a continuation of work begun in 2015-2016 under a Department of the Interior grant related to storm repair and resiliency. The previous project resulted in a comprehensive condition assessment and photography of every gravemarker. This information was added to our existing searchable database containing all those individuals in the graveyard with substantial genealogical information. This earlier project also resulted in the restoration of 14 gravemarkers in critical condition, mostly 18th century brownstones.
Since we have a complete condition assessment completed, the proposed project can begin with some detailed specifications for the next series of stones and, of course, the associated restoration work itself. The talented firms involved in the earlier project will bring their expertise and knowledge of this graveyard to the project. These are Lorraine Schnabel LLC who performed the condition assessment and Jablonski Building Conservators who executed the restoration work. There will also be one or more workshops for the public for lichen removal led by Ms. Schnabel. Further a self-guided tour of the graveyard will be developed by Dr. Richard Veit, Chair of the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University and a leading expert in New Jersey graveyards.
A total of about 75 gravestones will be treated in this new project.
In addition, an element of the project will include expanding our communication of the graveyard and its history with the broader community. This will involve development of a self-guided tour that will address gravestone, genealogical, and historical aspects of the graveyard coordinated by cemetery expert Dr. Richard Veit of Monmouth University who will also consult on the overall project.
The public benefits from the project through the preservation of the gravemarkers that tell us our history and the expanded, informed access to that history through the self-guided tour.
SANDY DISASTER RELIEF GRANTS
Christ Church has received two grants for the purposes of repair and resiliency work on its two historic sites both as a result of Superstorm Sandy and to protect against future such storms. The grant amounts for both the Church building and graveyard and the Rectory total about $350,000
Support for this project was provided by a Sandy Disaster Relief Grant for Historic Properties provided by the Historic Preservation Fund of the National Park Service to the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office, awarded by the New Jersey Historic Trust.
These grants were awarded in early 2015 and much has occurred since that date. Much of the early work has been oriented toward a detailed understanding of the specific work to be undertaken.
A thorough Condition Assessment of the Church and the Rectory were undertaken by Westfield Associates of Haddon Heights, NJ. The resultant documents provided a complete understanding of the condition of the historic structures and formed the basis for a bid process to select a general contractor to undertake the work. The condition assessment also included the creation of construction documents as part of the bid process to guide the selected contractor in performing the work according to established historic site construction principles. This bid process is currently underway with contractors for the two sites to be selected in early November.
There also was a Condition Assessment performed on all of the gravemarkers in the churchyard. This work was performed by Schnabel Conservation L.L.C. of Trenton NJ. This Assessment included photographs of each gravestone with a description of each marker’s current condition. This information was integrated into the church’s graveyard database. Here is an example of this work.
This records the condition of a brown sandstone gravemarker recording the death of Joseph Tole, nineteen years old at his death in 1781.
This gravemarker assessment work also included more detailed guidance on repair work to be performed on markers in most critical need of restoration. In a bid process Jablonski Building Conservation of New York City was selected to perform the restoration work on an initial set of thirteen gravemarkers.
The gravestone restoration work supported by the SDRG grant is now complete. The original plan to address 13 gravemarkers was expanded by one marker due to savings on work on the first group. The one added was that of Christina Hageman, who died at the age of two in 1785 and was marked by a brownstone. Christina’s gravemarker was in many pieces and was both reconstructed and moved near where the walkway approaches the Memorial Garden.
This is a list of the restored gravemarkers.
- Marker 601 Joseph Tole 1762-1781
- Marker 316 Sarah Throckmorton 1659-1743
- Marker 428 Margaret Throckmorton 1765-1817
- Marker 331 Hartness Throckmorton 1735-1760
- Marker 490 Elizabeth Vaughton 1715-1800
- Marker 491 Mary Wessells 1728-1816
- Marker 494 Susannah De Haert 1724-1780
- Marker 502 Mary Leonard 1716-1782
- Marker 731 Zilpha Halstead 1723-1754
- Marker 366 Hendrick Pool 1798-1818
- Marker 392 Mary Slocum 1734-1809
- Marker 717 John Hart 1759-1805
- Marker 701 Clara Wheeler 1782-1855
- Marker 866 Christina Hageman 1781-1784
Lorraine Schnabel and Stephanie Hoagland-Bond with newly restored gravemarker of Zilpha Halstead.
Some additional work has been completed under the grant’s auspices. One is the repair of the 1874 E Howard clock and bell control mechanism. Some of the parts of this complex mechanism were repaired by Stevenson Services of Bristol CT.
The clock faces have been synchronized and the clock timing adjusted for accuracy.
In addition one of the aspects of protecting the Church and Rectory buildings is careful control of tree growth. Both sites have considerable mature trees. These trees were trimmed with deadwood removed. A dead 100 foot tulip tree was removed. This work was performed by Becker’s Tree Service of Tinton Falls, NJ.
SDRG WORK PROGRESSES
SDRG work has continued at both the Church and Rectory, mostly performed by the Masonry Preservation Group. At the Church this has included repairing the cupola louvers, replacing the bulkhead doors, and restoring the front steps. At the Rectory, this has included implementing a new CMU wall in the basement for stability and installing steel posts with cement footing. Further work on the Rectory exterior has begun with shutter removal. These will be restored at the MPG woodworking shop. Further on-site work will resume in the warm weather.
WORK CONTINUES ON THE RECTORY
Work progresses on the Rectory. Scaffolding is up and the building is being powerwashed.
Rectory work extends to cornice repair and painting. The color is terra cotta.
Past Special Events
Christ Church celebrated Pentecost and Youth Sunday. Kate Apostolacus and Brandon Shin delivered sermons on the meaning of Christ Church in their lives as they graduate high school and move on to college. They both received scholarships to be used toward their college expenses. All of the children in the Sunday School were recognized and read the Prayers of the People.
MEMORIAL SERVICE 2019
The parish held its annual Churchyard Memorial Service, including the Reading of the Names. The names of all veterans interred in the graveyard were read on Sunday, May 26th after the 10 a.m. service. These veterans span the eras from the French and Indian War to Vietnam. Due to inclement weather, for the first time in memory the event was held inside the church instead of in the graveyard.
The veterans’ names were read by Judi and Stuart Buncher in costumes made by Judi.
Marine Corporal Andrew Tomlin – Portrayed by Stuart Buncher – One of two NJ Marines to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was awarded for heroism in the Second Battle of Ft Fisher, January 15th, 1865.
Woman of the Civil War Era attired in formal period dress – portrayed by Judith Buncher
MAY 18 COSTUMED GRAVEYARD TOUR
The parish held the second event of the year celebrating the 300th anniversary of our historic graveyard. This was our famous Costumed Graveyard Tour and involved eight thespians from our Dead Actors Guild portraying Notable Figures interred in the graveyard while standing next to their gravemarkers.
There were about 40 attendees on a gorgeous spring morning.
Here is the cast
William Leeds portrayed by Jamie Green
E C Hazard portrayed by Gordon Brown
Benjamin Lippincott portrayed by Bob Honecker
Graham Kearney Cooke portrayed by Patrice Thornton
William McDonald portrayed by Ryan Radice
Mary Finch portrayed by Cassandra Reagan
Louis deCoppet portrayed by Robert Maber
Louise Jost portrayed by Judi Buncher
The Guide performed by Stuart Buncher
A second costumed graveyard tour will take place on Saturday August 17th at 10 am.
COVENANT HOUSE SLEEPOUT
Do you want to help the homeless in our area? Then come join Mother Lisa, Jim O’Connor and dozens of others for the Second Annual Covenant House Sleep Out on Friday, May 17th at Trinity Church in Asbury Park! (8pm-7am) We have formed a “Christ Church & Friends” Sleeper Team! No training required! You simply join us for the evening, meeting the young people being served at the Covenant House Asbury Park facility, as well as the caring staff members. Learn about the great work being done and for one night “experience” what it is like to sleep outside with only a sleeping bag and piece of cardboard for a mattress! Comfortable? No! Incredibly rewarding? Yes!
Each Sleeper is asked to raise $1,000. You will have a fundraising page on the website and you ask your friends and family to go on and make whatever donation they can…$5, $10, $50…whatever they can afford. We are hoping to get ten (10) Sleepers on our Christ Church Team so we can raise at least $10,000 for Covenant House! Here is the link to the page to sign up (just copy and paste it into a new tab: https://www.sleepout.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.team&teamID=7768
Please let us know if you and maybe other family members or friends will be able to join us! If you can’t join us we are also grateful for any donations you may be able to make to our team!
Weekend in Old Monmouth at Christ Church
On May 4 and 5, more than 100 people (and one dog) visited Christ Church and its graveyard as part of the Monmouth County Historical Commission’s annual celebration of Weekend in Old Monmouth.
Highlights shown in the below photos included a guided tour of our 300-year-old graveyard conducted by Ryan Radice (the dog was on the tour).
Visitors also perused our curated collection of historical artifacts and depictions in art and photography of the exterior and interior of our 250-year-old church building.
Fifteen parishioners served as docents, including several in period garb.
Next up on our double anniversary celebration: the appearance of our Dead Actors Guild society on May 18 starting at 10:00 AM, in which notable personages buried in our graveyard will tell their stories, dressed for the occasion.
A FESTIVE EASTER SERVICE AT CHRIST CHURCH
With wonderful attendance Christ Church celebrated Easter with its traditional service and superb music. In addition Penelope was baptized and her sisters Alexandra and Vivian’s baptismal anniversaries were marked.
Sunrise Service 2019
Service started in the graveyard with lighting of the Paschal Candle. We then processed into the Church for the telling of the Easter Story followed by the Great Thanksgiving.
Good Friday Service at Christ Church
A very moving service. The choir was amazing.
Maundy Thursday at Christ Church Shrewsbury
Blessing the agape meal which we shared, stripping the altar, lights extinguished and the watch begins at the Altar of Repose.
Christ Church Celebrates Palm Sunday
Beginning with our traditional procession from the Parish House to our historic church, the parish celebrated the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. This is the start of Holy Week with the distribution of palms and the reading of the Passion of our Lord Jesus according to Luke with parishioners performing the several parts in a theatrical format.
St Patrick’s Day Party
Christ Church celebrated this wonderful Irish holiday with a sumptuous meal prepared by parishioners; The assembly was entertained by music by the Kilkenny Cats. There was a 50-50 and baskets for sale. Green was everywhere. The hall was full of parishioners, family and friends.
Epiphany Pageant at Christ Church
Christ Church celebrated the 12th Day of Christmas with a play entitled “Yeshi’s Story” The pageant covered the Christmas Story from Annunciation to The Visit of the Magi with Mary telling her young son the story of who he really is. The play was written and directed by Donna Devlin
CHRIST CHURCH PARTICPATED IN THE 2018 LANTERN TOUR
With our Four Corners partners Christ Church participated in the 2018 Lantern Tour. These are some of the photos from the event.
The cast was
George Tallman portrayed by Gordon Brown
Theodosia Finch portrayed by Patrice Thornton
Sarah Hartshorne portrayed by Priscilla Gettis, Cassie Reagan, and Sofia Hanhan
Reverend Harry Finch portrayed by Robert Kelly and Robert Maber
CHRIST CHURCH HELD ITS ANNUAL HOLIDAY BAZAAR
The Holiday Bazaar had basket auctions, sales of jewelry, handmade textiles, Christ Church Christmas cards, baked goods, specialty objects and sundries along with refreshments.
Blessing of the stockings
Experiences of the Holy for Parent and Child
December is such a very special time that we at Christ Church cannot keep it to ourselves! And so we held a very special event for the community:
Blessing of the Stockings
Saturday, December 1, 2018
10:00am – 11:30am
Christmas Stockings had a Special Blessing
Cookies were decorated for your own home.
The original Saint Nicholas visited
The Christ Church Shrewsbury Parish House Access Ramp
The parish house of Christ Church is utilized daily for activities of the parish as well as community at large events. The office of the church, all bathrooms, the library, choir room, Sunday school rooms and kitchen as well as the large community room are located in the parish house. These rooms are used on a daily basis by members of the parish. Additionally, community groups use the spaces on a weekly basis for groups such as AA, wedding planning, Christian education, history events and many types of meetings.
One of the barriers to access of the parish house is that there are steps leading to every entrance of the building. For many years parishioners and the public have experienced difficulties entering the building when they have special needs.
With grant and donation funding agreement was reached with AmRamp to implement the access ramp and built in 2018
The access ramp could only be installed on the street side of the building. Therefore the aesthetics of the project were also considered. Small, slow growing boxwood bushes were planted alongside the ramp with planter bushes on one end of the ramp. Lighting is being installed for safe use of the ramp in the evening.
Dedication of the ramp was on November 18, 2018. It is utilized frequently by parishioners and members of the community, providing safe access for all to the Parish House at Christ Church.
Parishioner Elaine Feyereisen was the project manager.
Christ Church and the Borough of Shrewsbury joined in this remembrance by tolling our church bell as above. This occurred during our 10 am Sunday service.
These are the veterans interred in our graveyard from the World War I era.
Captain Franklin G. Allen, US Army
- Walter S. BowkerWilliam E. Donald1st Lieutenant Morgan R. EilertCorporal Robert R. Graham, served as band corporal, HQ Company, 107 Inf., US ArmyLieutenant Colonel Louis H. Hanson, Medical Corps.1st Lieutenant Arnold Watson Hazard, Motor Transportation Corp.
Private Howard G. Montgomery, Head Quarters Company, 165th Inf., NY, US Army
1st Lieutenant Howard Stokes, US Army
Private Joseph L. Thompson, US Army Air Force
Major Dr. Harry Ticehurst, US Army, 9th Division Cavalry veterinarian
THE SMITH-CONDON BOXWOOD HEDGE
Graveyard visitors during the past year have seen a beautifully landscaped L-shaped boxwood hedge separating the graveyard from the parking lot on the southeast section of the graveyard. More recently this hedge was significantly extended eastward to again provide an expanded separation of the parking area and the historic graveyard.
So, how did this come to be. This beautiful boxwood hedge is the gift of Maggie Condon, a generous benefactor of our historic graveyard. Maggie’s parents, Eddie Condon and Phyllis Smith, were interred here a few years ago near where the original boxwood hedge segment was installed. Eddie Condon was a celebrated jazz musician in the mid 20th century. He played the guitar and owned a jazz club in Greenwich Village. His wife’s brother, Samuel Stelle Smith and wife Agnes Newhouse are buried next to them in the family grave plot.
The Smith name is also famous. Samuel Stelle Smith is the highly regarded Revolutionary War Historian with books published about the Battle of Monmouth and Trenton among others.
GRAVESTONE CLEANING AND RUBBING
On October 13th the second of three events that are part of October Graveyard Month was held. Lorraine Schnabel, the Graveyard Conservator, led the gravestone cleaning workshop and Kim Roberts-Honecker did the same for the gravestone rubbing. While rain early in the event held down attendance a total of 15 stones were cleaned and three had rubbings. Those participating were MiMi and Gordon Brown, Edgar John, Walter Dein, Jennifer Shamrock, Kristen Kormann, Reverend Lisa Mitchell, Jennifer Lovekin, Emily Blaser, and Bob Kelly. There were some learnings in the cleaning aspect as the red lichen was very resistant to removal. The rubbings went well despite the early rain. MiMi and Gordon were pleased to be able to clean the gravestone of their good friend Andree Lucantoni whose marker is in the Sycamore Garden.
On the before and after photos note the dramatic improvement with using just the brushes and water. Also on the Joseph Allen stone, how the inscription is so much easier to read with the lichen cleaned out.
A repeat event will be held Saturday October 20th.
OCTOBER 6, 2018
The first event in Christ Church’s “October is Graveyard Month” was held on Saturday October 6th. This event was a guided tour of the graveyard based on the recently created Graveyard Self-Guided Tour Brochure. The tour guide was Ryan Radice, a student at Monmouth University, and a co-creator of the brochure. Ryan is also a tour guide at Ellis Island. There were about 25 tourists and feedback was very positive. Ryan made stops at many of the gravestones identified in the brochure.
2018 INDEPENDENCE DAY SERVICE
During our July 1st service we recognized our heritage through two related activities. One was the introduction of the new Graveyard Self-Guided Tour brochure to the congregants by Parish Historian Robert Kelly. Bob described the genesis of the booklet and surveyed its contents. This brochure is described in more detail elsewhere on the web site.
In addition, one of the notable figures highlighted in the brochure was brought to life by Dead Actors’ Guild member, Cassie Reagan. Cassie told the story of the Finch family by portraying the Finch daughter, Mary.
JULY 4th 2018 CELEBRATION
Christ Church partnered with the Allen House and the Shrewsbury Historical Society in commemorating Independence Day. Mother Lisa provided the Invocation at the Allen House prior to the community reading of the Declaration of Independence. Afterwards Judi and Stuart Bucher in Revolutionary era costumes led visitors across the street to Christ Church. Here we had the church open for visitors as well as conducting a graveyard tour. This latter was a guided tour but based upon the recently created Graveyard Self-Guided Tour. The tour guide was Ryan Radice, who was one of the five Monmouth University History students who fashioned the brochure. In addition, Stuart Buncher demonstrated a genuine Battle of Monmouth musket that is in the collection of the Shrewsbury Historical Society. He told the story of the Revolutionary soldier who carried the weapon as well as describing its parts and operation. Photos were taken by Jeff Veil and Kristen Kormann.
Here is Stuart Buncher’s tale of the Revolutionary War musket:
A Rare Piece of Local History Hiding In Plain Sight!
The other day, Bob Kelly told me of an old rifle at the Shrewsbury Historical Society Museum, curated by Don Burden, who is also the Mayor of Shrewsbury. Being a student of history and a gun nut, my curiosity got the better of me. Bob gave me Don’s phone number and I called to set up an appointment.
I had to climb a step stool to take what turned out to be an old musket down from the museum wall. Upon cursory investigation, the long arm looked like a long barrel fowling piece, which is a shotgun used in hunting geese and ducks. The weapon was a black powder, muzzle loading flintlock of British origin.
The most amazing part was the paperwork that came with the gun, which provided the authenticity of what we were looking at. It seems that musket belonged to one Michael Fields, born in Bound Brook, New Jersey, in August of 1758. He was killed in June, 1778 at the Battle of Monmouth. This was his personal weapon which he used to fight the British.
He now resides in a grave at Joshua Huddy Memorial Park in Colts Neck.
This was not a military weapon as it didn’t have a provision for a shoulder strap or bayonet.
I cleaned and polished the stock with Old English furniture polish. The barrel and lock plate were blued almost black while military weapons were polished metal. I tried to bring up the brass furniture with metal polish. The gun was shown at the 4th of July event on the steps of Christ Church, where it attracted much awe as it was passed round from person to person.
The musket is now safely back at the Shrewsbury Historical Society Museum where a permanent display case is being made for it. Stuart Buncher
CUB SCOUT TROOP VISITS CHRIST CHURCH
In May Den 8, out of Pack 124, visited the church. There were 7 Scouts, 2 siblings, 5 parents and Den Leader, Heather Thomas in attendance. Reverend Mitchell gave the tour of both the church and the graveyard. The Scouts were also treated to a portrayal of Benjamin Lippincott who is interred in the graveyard, Lippincott, who was a California Pioneer in the 19th century was portrayed by Bob Honecker. They were very intrigued by Benjamin Lippincott as a cowboy – at the end one asked “for real – are you risen from the dead or someone else just pretending?”
The Scouts really enjoyed the tour — and especially thought the Vinegar Bible was “very old and very cool – especially since it was 1 of 40!”
Presiding Bishop at Royal Wedding
The Most Reverend Michael Curry gave a powerful oration regarding love at this ceremony. Here is a link to that address.