5:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m. Sunday School and Holy Eucharist
Pratt Avenue Mission
The first Episcopal worship, in the Pottersville section of Somerset,
was conducted by the Reverend Edward Benedict, Rector of Christ Church
in Swansea. It was held in a Pottersville barn on 14 May 1905. During the
following two years, the mission purchased land and built a Church on Pratt
Avenue, Somerset. Services were first held here on 3 March 1907. Shortly
thereafter, the Ven. Samuel G. Babcock, Archdeacon of New Bedford, lead
the worship until 1910. From 1910 through 1948 services were lead by the
Rev. John Wynne Jones, followed by the Rev. Sherrill B. Smith, both of
whom were also Rectors of Christ Church, Swansea.
The Church of Our Saviour drew up papers of incorporation on 5 July
1939, and in 1946 a prefabricated parish house was erected to form an ell
with the Pratt Avenue Church. From 1948, services were lead by George R.
Dewhurst, until in 1958, the Reverend Alden R. Burhoe became priest-in-charge.
By 1958 the mission had secured the resources to purchase a Rectory and
establish the Vicar on a full time basis. The small Church quickly outgrew
its capacity, as an immediate result of acquiring an ordained clergyman.
The expansion of Somerset as a suburban community of Fall River added to
County Street Church
In 1961, efforts were started to secure a new parish building. Acreage
was purchased on County Street in Somerset, and on Sunday, 22 July 1962,
the cornerstone was laid by the Venerable Louis B. Sheen, Archdeacon of
New Bedford. The new building was dedicated by Bishop Anson P. Stokes on
23 February 1963.
1966, the Church of Our Saviour was admitted as a parish in union with
the Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts. On 15 May Mr. Burhoe was
instituted as the parish’s first Rector by Bishop Stokes. By 1976, a full
three years ahead of schedule, the parish was able to discharge its debt.
Bishop John B. Coburn lead the congregation in burning the mortgage and
consecrating the Church on Sunday, 17 October 1976.
At the end of December, 1994, after 37 years of service to the Church
of Our Saviour, the Reverend Burhoe retired. The Church of Our Saviour
has become a “typical” suburban Church. Over the years, the Church of Our
Saviour and Reverend Burhoe had become very comfortable with each other.
This coupled with the rapid growth of the sixties and the construction
of the new building, has produced a stable parish that served its members
and the community.
Our interim Rector, Father Robert Blumenstock, served the Church of
Our Saviour for almost three years. He provided a different worship service
and a different approach to leadership. This was definitely an enlightening
period that helped the church realize different possibilities and perspectives.
Starting in 1995, the parish undertook its first search for a full
time Rector. In 1997 the Search committee presented and the Vestry unanimously
approved Fr. Anthony Vanucci as a full time Rector. Fr. tony was enthusiastically
received and undertook expanding our membership and growing our church.
During his tenure, we explored the possibility of expanding the church
building, selling the Rectory, building a permanent sunday school facility,
building a memorial garden, and renting out the church facilities on a
full time basis to raise revenues. Eventually the congregation realized
they preferred to efficiently maintain the property we had rather than
incurring the debt necessary to expand. Thanks to Fr. Tony's determination
and generous donations from parishioners, the memorial garden was initiated
during this period.
At the end of 1999, after a period of some conflict, Fr. Tony accepted
a call to a different parish. After 6 months of various interim ministers,
a priest-in-charch was recommended by the Diocese and approved by our Vestry.
During the last few years, under the guidance of Reverend Dr. Clare Yarborough,
the parish has been blessed to undergo a period of healing and reconciliation.
we have focused on developing our individual strengths, and have a strong
community presence with church suppers, an annual Christmas bazaar, and
a family faire in the early summer. We provide Episcopal support for our
members with Bible Study, Sunday School, hospital visits, regularly scheduled
worship services, special services for holidays and a public memorial garden
with a location for reflection and prayer.
Church property includes a Rectory adjacent to the Church. This property
was used as a Rectory in the early days of the County Street Church. Today
this property houses the very successful Annelle DeLorme Hagerman Food
Bank. The food bank reaches out to our surrounding community and provides
relief to many in need.
Rev. Clare's three year commitment to Our Saviour as Priest-in-Charge
ended in August 2003, at which time she accepted a permanent position in
Weymouth, MA at Trinity Church which she started in January 2004. She served
Our Saviour well in her ability to heal the rift which threatened to divide
the parish. Once again Our Saviour has been blessed, this time with Rev.
Beulah Koulouris, who became our Interim Priest in January of 2004 and
stayed until a new rector was found. Rev. Beulah remained at Our Saviour
until the end of January 2005.
Our Search Committee concluded its search for a permanent rector when
they called the Rev. Bonnie Sarah Spencer. Rev. Spencer began her ministry
at Our Saviour on the first weekend of February 2005. Her installation
was celebrated on May 10th, 2005 with The Right Rev. Roy F. Cederholm Jr.