Christ Church Chimes
The Right Reverend Barbara C. Harris

June 12, 1930-March 13, 2020

On Feb. 11— marked the 32nd anniversary of the historic consecration of Barbara Harris as the worldwide Anglican Communion’s first female bishop—Bishop Alan Gates and Bishop Gayle Harris remembered her as “a courageous pioneer, an outspoken prophet and an indefatigable champion of God’s justice and witness to God’s grace.”

She she served as Bishop Suffragan for 13 years. Our bishops remind us she remained an active part of diocesan life in her retirement years, “she was for us also a wise counselor and faithful companion. For three decades our diocesan gatherings were enlivened by her keen wit, consummate storytelling and impromptu musical accompaniment.”

On this the anniversary of her death, I remember her most fondly, and from the first I was in total awe of this pioneering woman. When I first saw her she was attending a Board of Trustees meeting at Episcopal Divinity School.   There she was standing outside with cigarette in hand, in her fur coat, spiky heels and twinkle in her eye. She nodded at me, a first year seminarian being tongue-tied, trying to say hello to this legendary woman. I was wishing I too was a smoker, just so I could hang out with her.

I would get to know her through the years. She would ask about my son William, talk about driving past my house on her way to the beauty parlor, and general chit-chat. Through the years I would share glasses of red wine, dance with her to “Who let the Dogs Out,” help her tear communion bread after her stroke, order her an Uber, walk with her in Boston Pride, and hold a rainbow parasol over her to keep the sun off this pioneering woman. 

What I appreciate the most is the courage she displayed when she was made the first female bishop in the entire Anglican Communion. She would face death threats, was urged to wear a bullet proof vest, and was mocked and celebrated at the same time. She would tell me that there was such resentment toward her that women would attempt to claw her with their painted fingernails as she offered them communion.    

There are so many wonderful stories I could share (and a few I cannot!), but let me suffice it to say, I am glad to call Bishop Harris a model of Christianity in a broken world. I am glad I could call her friend.      

Christ Church Outreach

Food Drive
Saturday March 20th
We will hold a drive-by food collection at the Parish House on Saturday, March 20, in an effort to replenish the empty shelves at the hard-hit food pantry for the Swansea-Somerset area.
      The Christ Church Outreach Ministry is accepting only non-perishable food items. Come to the Parish House parking lot during the hours of 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
           Drivers are asked to enter the parking lot, off-load their donations to the tables that will be available, and then exit by driving behind the church and out the east driveway.
           Social distancing will be maintained and masks are required.

Sample of needed items at this time: Non-perishable food items including cereals, shelf-stable milk products, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and such canned goods as fruits, soup, vegetables, fish, poultry and beans.
Children are often times forgotten in these drives. Please bring sealed (Easter) candy for the kids.

Worship services on our webpage, and the Facebook page of the parish Christ Church | Facebook for the 10am service.  

Spring Forward tonight!


Here is a link to the Christ Church 2020 Annual Report.


We are a joyful community celebrating Jesus Christ. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey,
you are welcome here.

Christ Church
57 Main Street, Swansea, Ma 02777
Office: Leslie Lemire; 508-678-0923 or,
The Rev. Sue Correira, Deacon Al Deston III, Music Director
The Rev. Alan R. Hesse, Rector; 508-505-5668 cell,,