The End of An Era: Church Closing is a Sign of the Times

The announcement that the parishioners of the Union Congregational Church have decided to close their church certainly brings a feeling of sadness for those of us who are long time residents of Winthrop.

The “little church at the Beach” on Tewksbury St. has a long history in our community, dating back to when summer visitors who flocked to Winthrop’s grand seaside hotels at the turn of the century would gather for Sunday morning services in the open air at Winthrop Beach. From those informal gatherings, which no doubt were attended by worshipers of many denominations, sprang the Union Congregational Church, which was incorporated 115 years ago in 1896.

Church members in their formal announcement cited “an aging membership, a lack of families, and dwindling resources” as the chief reasons why they felt compelled to close their church. Sadly, this has been the case for so many of our town’s other long time institutions which served our community so well for so many generations, but which no longer are with us.

The Union Congregational Church played an important role in the Winthrop community and, like a dear member of a family,  its absence will leave a void that cannot be replaced.

The church will hold a closing service and farewell on Saturday, May 7, at 4:00 p.m. to which all Winthrop residents are invited.

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