2016-08-11 / Faith Community

Bishop to Install Father Humphrey

By James Merolla


Pastor Nathan Humphrey will be installed as the 14th Rector of St. John the Evangelist Church on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 4 p.m. Pastor Nathan Humphrey will be installed as the 14th Rector of St. John the Evangelist Church on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 4 p.m. The Right Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, 13th Bishop of Rhode Island, will institute Nathan Humphrey as the 14th Rector of St. John the Evangelist Church on Sunday, Aug. 14.

The bishop will take part in a celebratory mass and installation ceremony of Fr. Humphrey at 4 p.m. Frank Griswold, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will preach.

In 2012, the future of the historic church at the corner of Washington and Willow streets in the Point section of Newport was unclear. Would Knisely, the new bishop, close the doors of the struggling parish, or would he attempt to turn around its decade-long decline? St. John‘s decided to take a risk. They applied to the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island to be designated a mission congregation, which allowed them to receive a three-year grant to fund a full-time priest.

Fr. Humphrey arrived on Aug. 15, 2013. Nearly three years to the day later, as the grant expires, he will be instituted as the rector of a restored and rejuvenated St. John’s. Weekly attendance is up (from an average of 25 to one that’s pushing toward 75 — and beyond); the budget is stable (annual income has nearly tripled, from $137,000 to $397,000); the choir has grown into a renowned multi-church entity; the organ has been restored; and the church is self-sustaining.

All are invited to the installation. Choirmaster and organist Peter Berton will lead the music, which will include Mass No. 15 in C Major, K. 317 by Mozart.

A catered barbecue reception on the church lawn will follow the installation. RSVP to Jordan Sleeper at 848-2561 or write to parishoffice@saintjohns-newport.org.

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