Parish History

St. Andrew's Church in Ayer, Massachusetts was first organized in October 1889 when the Rev. Dr. Endicott Peabody, headmaster of nearby Groton School, assigned one of its masters, the Rev. William G. Thayer, to begin the work of founding an Episcopal mission. The present attractive stone church was completed in December 1892. The next minister was the Rev. Charles L. Slattery, also a master at Groton School, who had the satisfaction of leaving St. Andrew's Church debt-free and consecrated. He was succeeded by the Rev. Edward H. Newbegin.

The Rev. Dr. Endicott Peabody, headmaster at Groton School, was in Rev. Thayer's words, "the father of the thought," and his support and cooperation for the many years until his retirement in 1940 were largely responsible for the existence and continuance of the church.

On the 27th day of January 1898, the Bishop and Standing Committee having given their consent, St. Andrew's Mission, Ayer, was duly and legally organized as St. Andrew's Parish in Ayer and Groton and the minister, the Rev. Edward H. Newbegin, was elected rector.

The parish was reorganized in June 1901 before its admission to the Diocesan Convention, comprising the mother church at Groton School, the parish church in Ayer, the mission house at Forge Village, the schoolhouse mission at Woodsville, and also the care of Trinity Chapel in Shirley Center. By this consolidation, Groton School became a real part of the parish; its headmaster, the Rev. Dr. Endicott Peabody, became rector; and the rector in Ayer, the Rev. Thomas L. Fisher, became the vicar of the parish.

The year 1950 marked the end of the official connection between Groton School and St. Andrew's Church and the vicar, the Rev. Henry Mattocks, became rector of the parish. In September 1960, St. Andrew's gave up oversight of the mission at Forge Village. It subsequently became an independent parish, now called St. Mark's Church in Westford, Massachusetts.

Click on the links below to learn more about the history of St. Andrew's and the lives of the rectors and vicars who have served here.

The Rev. Dr. Endicott Peabody
The Rev. William Greenough Thayer
The Rev. Charles Lewis Slattery
The Rev. Edward Henry Newbegin
The Rev. Thomas Legate Fisher
The Rev. Dr. Endicott Peabody
The Rev. Thomas Legate Fisher
The Rev. Arthur Lewis Bumpus
The Rev. Williston Merrick Ford
The Rev. Angus Dun
The Rev. Leslie Frederick Wallace
The Rev. Richard Taylor Lyford (Interim Vicar)
The Rev. John Russell Dallinger
The Rev. Laird Wingate Snell
The Rev. Edward Joseph Day
The Rev. Dr. Hugh Latimer Willson
The Rev. John Crocker
The Rev. Dr. William Henry Paine Hatch
The Rev. Henry Mattocks
The Rev. Henry Mattocks
The Rev. Donn Russell Brown
The Rev. Paul Sprower Koumrian
The Rev. William Dudley Underhill (Interim Rector)
The Rev. Martha Hughlett Giltinan
The Rev. Alan Bruce MacKillop (Interim Rector)
The Rev. Joseph Scott Baker
The Rev. Dr. Edward Charles Kienzle (Interim Rector)
The Rev. Alan Bruce MacKillop (Priest in Residence)
The Rev. Joyce Lynn Scherer-Hoock

1889-1892
1892-1894
1894-1896
1896-1899
1900-1901
1901-1940
1901-1910
1910-1913
1913-1917
1917-1919
1919-1924
1924-1925
1925-1926
1926-1934
1934-1938
1939-1947
1940-1950
1947-1948
1948-1950
1950-1968
1968-1975
1976-1989
1989-1991
1991-2001
2001-2002
2002-2005
2005
2005-2009
2009-
History of the Parish
Click on the links below.
  • Postcard Views of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
  • Historic Photographs of St. Andrew's and the Town of Ayer
  • The Rev. Hermon Gaylord Wood (St. Andrew's architect)
History of the Organ
The pipe organ installed at St. Andrew's was originally built in 1916 as Opus 1423 of the Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro, Vermont. Click on the links below to read about it and its predecessors.
Contact
7 Faulkner Street
Ayer, Massachusetts 01432

978-772-2615
ObscureChurch
Disability services
St. Andrew's is handicap accessible. We also have large print bibles and Book of Common Prayer available upon request
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BSA Pack 32
St. Andrew's is a proud sponsor of Cub Scout Pack 32. Please contact them at ObscureBSA for more information.
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