Meet The Board
About The Church
For nearly two centuries, the Church on the Hill has been a cherished landmark of the historic village of Weston, Vermont. Built in 1838, its dramatic setting and graceful architecture make it today one of the most photographed buildings in southern Vermont.
Founded by Baptists, it has now become the Weston Community Church and embraces a broad range of spiritual beliefs.
However, the Church is more than just a building. It is a place of spirituality, a place of peace and a place of music. Seasonally, the Church offers a variety of events and services. These events include traditional Sunday services, as well as Evensong and Vespers that take advantage of the amazing acoustics of the Church. We also host the popular Sundays on the Hill classical music series. Year-round, it is also the site of many weddings, christenings, ordinations, other personal events, and special community activities.
Now on the National Register of Historic Buildings, the Church on the Hill offers traditional beauty and new and challenging ideas from a variety of modern voices.
Preserving This Landmark
While the Church is a "national treasure" listed on the Historic Register, its history is not just that of a building. Like all history, it is the story of the people - those who built it, maintained it, worshipped in it, and made this Church a part of their lives for more than a century and a half.It is the story of families from all parts of the widespread and growing Town of Weston, who came together in 1838 to build their church, a Baptist Meeting House, and the second public building in Weston. It is the story of Parker Shattuck, founder and first Deacon of the Church, who as a young man walked over 60 miles from New Hampshire to build a cabin for his wife and two children, and who later became one of Weston's most active citizens.
Old records show the Church to have been supported by a vigorous congregation of prominent Weston residents throughout the 1800s and into the 20th century. No town stands still, however. By 1920, Weston's population of over 1,000 dwindled by half, the Baptist society disbanded, and the Church became a meeting hall for the Grange.
That might have been the end of the building's history as a church, but again the story becomes one of the people. In 1939, Massachusetts Senator Lewis Parkhurst recognized the spiritual importance of the stained glass windows memorializing nine of the founding families of the Church. He purchased the building, restored it and the Church was reborn as the non-denominational Weston Community Church, known by locals and visitors alike as the Church on the Hill. It is recognized as an exceptional piece of Gothic revival architecture, noted especially for its remarkable stained glass windows and nearly flawless interior acoustics.
In 1998, after surviving more than a century and a half of Vermont winters, it became apparent that the lovely old building, especially its steeple, was in dire need of repair. The steeple was crumbling, the roof leaked and the windows needed restoration. The eight person lay Board of Trustees began the challenging task of leading a capital campaign to raise the money to fund the repairs. With a generous grant from the Preservation Trust of Vermont, a matching grant from Lyman Orton of the Vermont Country Store, and significant support from Weston residents and many other friends from around the country, the Church was able to complete its renovations. Five years later, the result was a beautifully restored Church boasting a historic bell that was cast in the last century and now rings over the village each summer Sunday. In 2003, the Church was rededicated to celebrate its restoration.
Now begins the third phase of the story of the Church on the Hill - a time to honor the past, celebrate the present and plan for the future to insure the continuance of this town treasure as a part of the fabric of Weston for generations to come. To this end, an Endowment Fund is being established. If you wish to share in this effort, please reach out to us via our Contact Us page. Please note that funding for the continuance of this historic building comes entirely from the generosity of past, present and future friends. Donations are tax deductible.