Oscar Dean Photography | Photo of the Week #36 - Cuttyhunk Island Church

Photo of the Week #36 - Cuttyhunk Island Church

September 07, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The Photo of the Week is posted every Monday.  Each photo aims to document the things I've seen, places I've been and all sorts of curious things I have encountered as I go about my daily activities.  Along with the photo I will provide some background and interesting facts about the image and some technical information as well.


Cuttyhunk Union Methodist Church was founded in 1881. It opened with a dedication and dinner served under a tent in July of that year. Rev. John S. Bell, a Methodist, was the first minister of the church. His salary was $3.00 per service plus board. The church has been in continuous service since that time. The bass weather vane was created by islander, Steve Baldwin, in 1971. Land was given and the parsonage was built by Millard and Olga Ashley in 1957. It is used by the Cuttyhunk school teacher during the winter months.
In the 1960s, in addition to the Sunday evening worship service, an Episcopal service was started. Beginning in 1967 a Catholic priest flew in regularly by sea plane and conducted a Mass in the church, assisted by the United Methodist clergy.

The church is open on a seasonal basis during July and August. It is truly interfaith, with an Episcopal Eucharist at 8 a.m., a Roman Catholic service at 9 a.m., and Sunday School at 10 a.m. A popular hymn sing begins the Sunday evening vespers at 7:45. The pressed tin walls and ceiling add a dimension to the voices of people who love to sing, providing uplifting and inspiring memories. The church bell calls people to gather fifteen minutes before each service and can be heard all over the island.

The church building is used by a variety of religious and community groups for weddings, baptisms, memorial services, AA and Al-Anon, Cuttyhunk Historical Society events, the Cruisers Community Chorus and other island events.

The magnificent quahog mosaics in the front of the sanctuary are by island artist, Manuel Sarmento (1906-1986). They depict the Madonna and St. Francis of Assisi. The brass and driftwood cross on the altar was built by Wally Ketchum.

(Courtesy of http://www.cuttyhunkchurch.org/history.html)


Located not too far from Martha's Vineyard, Cuttyhunk Island has a lot of New England charm even though it is just shy of one square mile in size (0.91 sq. miles to be exact!).  Activity surges during the summer months as tourists flock to the island to enjoy the beaches, fishing, boating or just plain relaxing.  I've been to the island a handful of times and on this particular visit, I walked around and came upon the church.  The simple black and white colors of the church  was framed nicely by the blue sky above and the green grass below.  I admit to being a little addicted to photographing churches.  From the most ornate stone cathedrals to a simple wooden one room church, if the design "speaks to me," then I must photograph it!


Equipment and Settings

Canon 40D
1/3200 sec at f4, ISO 400
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5 - 4.5 IS USM lens set at 10mm


No comments posted.