Platter Returned to Hollis Church
Use in Rites 227 Years Ago
(The story below was taken from the original newspaper article, 1970).
Hollis, April 8, 1970 A pewter communion platter used 227 years ago in the ordination of the first minister in Hollis was returned to the church yesterday. Mrs. Lulu Bancroft of Pepperell gave the platter to the present and 17th minister Rev. Seth W. Newton.
It was used in the church for the ordination of Rev. Daniel Emerson April 20, 1743, and has been in Mrs. Bancroft's family.
Patty's note: Also along with the communion platter were two smaller plates that were used for collection plates. I have one of them and feel blessed to have something that is so old and in good shape.
The gift was given during an all day meeting of the Ladies Reading and Charitable society.
Mrs. Bancroft was 90 last month. The genealogy records read that her back ground is traced to Jonathan Lovejoy who was born in Andover, Mass in 1719 and came to Hollis April 20, 1743 - the day Rev. Emerson was ordained.
Jonathan Lovejoy was the 13th family to settle in Hollis by a grant from the Indians. He is buried in the Hollis churchyard.
The fourth generation of Jonathan's family, left the communion platter to her daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, born in 1847 and who married John Smith. She was the mother of Lulu Grace Smith Bancroft.
Mrs. Bancroft read from the back of the family photograph of the Lovejoy Homestead in Hollis in reference to her great grandfather, Ralph Lovejoy, as follows: "Ralph Lovejoy had the first cook stove and painted floor in Hollis and was thought to be an extravagant man but when he built a coach and painted if yellow and took his family to church in it behind two horses they were sure of it."
Under the picture it states::An ancient pewter-communion platter, first used when Rev. Daniel Emerson of the Hollis Congregational Church was ordained on April 20, 1743, is presented to the Hollis Church by Mrs. Lulu Bancroft of Pepperell, Mass., during ceremonies yesterday afternoon. Accepting the platter is Rev. Seth W. Newton, pastor of the church.
**Here is the transcribed story that accompanied the picture. **
Church to Observe 227th Year
The Hollis church will observe the 227th anniversary of the church's organization and the anniversary of the first pastor Sunday.
The service of worship will be conducted in much the same way a service would have been conducted 227 years ago.
There will be no church bell, choir or organ since none of these was available in 1743. The congregation will be divided with the men on one side and the women on the other. The deacons, ushers, greeters and minister will be dressed as our forefathers were dressed 220 years ago. Other members of the parish were encouraged to do the same by church officials.
Offering pouches with long handles that were used in the church years ago will be used Sunday. Nelson Parkhurst has repaired them recently and the ladies have replaced the velvet.
The hymns will be sung by a process called, "lining out." The minister will read one or two lines and the congregation will sing them. Judith Brown will bring her tuning fork. Such an instrument was used years ago to keep the congregation on pitch.
The deacons feel that this type of anniversary service will be quite meaningful. It will demonstrate the fact that the life and the history of the church has been long and rich. It will also make clear the fact that the gospel that has been preached then is unchanged..