Rocks of Ages


Old Churches of Morristown

Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fibre thrilling like harp strings,
while incense is everflowing from the balsam bells and leaves.
No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples!
The more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches,
the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.

- John Muir

I've only mentioned two Morristown churches on this page, but that's not because Morristown only has two beautiful old churches - it's because the other photos I took weren't useful - I cut some important steeple or wing out of them.  I'll add more about Morristown churches as I get around to it.  (Frankly, it could take months.  Or years.  But they'll likely still be there, no matter how long I wait.  Besides, if it's important to you, a web search will turn up photos of all of them.  Lots.)

St Peter's Church

The buildings in the back are also part of the church as is a lovely parish house which this photo truncates
The roof tiles are slate.  This church is across Miller from my favourite New Jersey library (which was built to match it).

Although Anglicans were among the first settlers in 1710, an Episcopal parish in Morristown wasn't formed until 1827.  The following year, St Peter’s Church was consecrated.  In 1840, the Reverend William Staunton introduced to the parish the teachings of the Oxford Movement, an English theological group that sought to strengthen ties with Catholicism.  Subsequent rectors continued this "high church" tradition.  In 1852, 38 families that preferred the "low church," or Protestant, liturgy formed the Church of the Redeemer.  Both parishes have flourished and maintain a friendly relationship.

The opposite side

Today, St Peter’s services combine a traditional, or "broad church," worship with inclusiveness and innovation.

By 1887, the congregation had outgrown even an expanded church, so an entirely new building was begun.  The project, which took 27 years, transformed St Peter’s to a towered Gothic edifice.  A number of Morristown millionaires who worshipped at St Peter’s enriched the church with stained glass windows, treasures from European churches and a magnificent Skinner organ.  Later a parish house, sacristy and cloister were added, as well as the building that now houses the Collinsville Child Care Center.

Inside the sanctuary

St Peter's Church, South Street at Miller Road (Mail: 70 Maple Avenue) Morristown NJ 07960

Source: © 2001-2002 St Peter's Episcopal Church

The Catholic Church of the Assumption

Morristown's oldest church, Maple Avenue at Madison Street

The Catholic Church of the Assumption was formed in 1845 by Irish immigrants.  For many years, this church marked the heart of the "Little Dublin" neighborhood in Morristown.  In 1872, the original church structure was replaced by the present, much larger, Ruskinian Gothic style church.  This edifice is now the oldest church building in Morristown.

Following a fire in the 1980s, the church has been largely restored and the altar area has been modernised.  The Catholic Church of the Assumption is now listed in the national Register of Historic Places.

I'm not sure if this is called a parish house, a parsonage, a rectory, or something else

The above photo isn't a very good one, which is a shame because the building above, located next door to the Church of the Assumption, has some of the nicest gargoyles and grotesques on it that I've seen in the area.

Source: This information was originally found at - however, that link is no longer active.

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