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St. Cuthberts

MacMahan Island, Georgetown, ME

"It is good for us to be here" St. Luke IX: 33

The history of St. Cuthbert's chapel begins not long after the Sheepscot Island Company was established in 1881. Starting in 1894, services were first held in a little old school house that is no longer standing, and later on a cottage porch or in one of the cottages.

In 1899 it was felt that something should be done towards building a chapel on the island. A meeting was called and four resident clergymen were appointed to a committee to take the project in hand. The Sheepscot Island Company made a gift of land for the use of the chapel. A contribution of $200 was also received. The Rev. George Stevenson Pine of the committee secured the services of a friend, Edmund Q. Sylvester, a prominent Boston architect, to draw plans as a donation.

The name, St. Cuthbert's, was selected for several reasons. First there was no church or chapel of that name at the time in the United States. Also St. Cuthbert spend a large part of his life on an island, Lindisfarne, of the Northeast coast of England. St. Cuthbert was a man of large heart and it disturbed him to have anyone go hungry. One day when a boy came to him begging for food, Cuthbert looked up to heaven to pray. A hawk overhead dropped a fish which he gave to the boy. He was also a man of great mind and is honored today by the magnificent cathedral of Durham, England where his bones lie.

The chapel was consecrated in the name of St. Cuthbert's by the Rt. Rev. Robert Codman, then Bishop of Maine, on the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6, 1902, the rainiest day of a wet summer. There was, however, no dampening to the glory and thanksgiving within. Those present and future attendees to St. Cuthbert's have felt it was good to be here. From that day to the present, services have been held in St. Cuthbert's throughout the summer season. All people are welcome!

Many memorials enhance the chapel's spiritual atmosphere, including reredos given in memory of Bowdoin Neally, the altar candlesticks and cross in memory of the Rev. and Mrs. Charles T. Whittemore, and the atlar given in memory of Sophia Raymond Brown. The carved panels represent St. Columba, St. Augustine of Canterbury, St. Cuthbert, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Margaret of Scotland, St. George, St. Agnes, and St. Hilda.

The kneelers, stole, and antependium were designed and mounted by Martha Rogers Zimilies in 1975 and stitched by islanders.




143 State Street (mail to PO Box 4036) | Portland, ME 04101-4036 | Phone: (207) 772-1953 |