St. Paul's is an Episcopal church located on Fair Street in the heart of the Nantucket's historic district. The church was founded in 1838, and it moved to its current location in 1901, when benefactor Caroline French commissioned and paid for the current church building.
We are a congregation of faithful people who work together to fulfill our mission: To Make the Love of God More Widely Known. We happily welcome new members and visitors, and we have an open table where all are welcome to Holy Communion. We support our community through a number of different programs. You can find us feeding the hungry; providing laundry services to needy families; working with our school system; supplying leadership in broad-based community assistance programs and continuously evaluating our presence to see where we can do more. We welcome your involvement at church services and in our community work.
Our benefactor, Caroline French, left us a beautiful church. It seats up to 400 people and it is graced by beautiful stained glass windows. The Chancel windows and the window in the foot of the nave were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and executed in his studio. The Chancel windows behind the altar depict scenes of natural life on Nantucket and the larger Nave window imagines the River of Life. The side aisle windows depict scenes from the life of Jesus and were executed in the 1950s by the Connick Studio. Our chapel has contemporary "slab glass" windows celebrating God's Creation, made in 19687 by the Willet company. In the ceiling of the Nave are clerestory windows known as the "I Am" series and were again created by Willet.
The Church Campus
St. Paul’s is blessed with a campus that, in addition to the church, includes three other buildings: a parish house, a rectory and a small cottage. They are adjacent to one another on Fair Street in the heart of Nantucket’s Historic District. There is parking for about 10 cars between the parish house and the church.
St. Paul’s Church
Gifted by Caroline W. French, St. Paul’s was consecrated in 1902. The church architecture is Romanesque in style, with a pink granite exterior and brown-stone detailing. The interior is basilica style, with a central aisle and two side aisles in the nave. The nave leads to the semicircular apse that houses the choir stalls and altar. The interior of the church is largely in oak with ash trim; the roof is supported by carved wooden pillars.
Wonderful stained glass windows combined with its fine details make St. Paul’s a handsome church. Most notably, in the apse there are five windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. They depict scenes of Nantucket flora; at the foot central aisle, there is a large window, again designed by Tiffany, depicting the “River of Life” at the west end of the central aisle. The Tiffany windows date from the church’s founding. In 1955, 16 stained glass windows were commissioned from the Connick Studio to decorate the side aisles and the narthex. These windows depict scenes from the life of Christ. In 1968, the Willet Glass Studio designed 12 “I Am” windows for the clerestory. About the same time, Willet designed a set of more contemporary windows for the chapel, which had originally served as the sacristy and choir room.
During 2013-14, the Church building was renovated to make it fully accessible; to upgrade and restore the organ; to renew our sacristy and robing rooms, and refinish the floors. A new entrance constructed in matching stone – The Daume Entrance – included a lift to the church’s main floor, providing access for all. The church kitchen in the sub croft, Gardner Hall, was renovated as well and today, has a licensed commercial kitchen.
Click here for a link to a self-guided video tour of St. Paul's.
The Parish House
The parish house serves as the administrative heart of St. Paul’s. It houses the church offices; a conference room that holds about 20 people; a choir rehearsal room and a full basement used for storage.
The Memorial Garden
Between the church and the rectory is the Memorial Garden that is often used for church services, receptions and events. It has served as a site for wedding receptions as well as Easter egg rolls. In the back of the Memorial Garden is an area where ashes of the deceased may be interred. Their names are inscribed on a memorial plaque inside the Daume entrance.
Originally constructed in the late 18th century, the rectory was renovated in 2001 and today is sunlit and airy. It houses our clergy families and has two ground-level living areas, a large kitchen, and four bedrooms and baths. It is often used as a reception area for church events.
The Jelleme Cottage
Located to the rear of the Memorial Garden and the rectory is a quaint two bedroom cottage currently occupied by our .