I had a small adventure last week with an old friend. I left Worcester mid-day and drove through the alternating pouring rain and sunshine to Concord, New Hampshire, to see my good friend, the Very Rev. Archimandrite Agathonikos Wilson. Fr. Agathonikos is the pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Concord. Traditionally, the priest there also takes care of the small Transfiguration church in Franklin, which is about a half hour north of Concord, and also the birthplace of Daniel Webster. To give you an idea of where it is – it is right next to Tilton, which is some kind of shopping pilgrimage site. The idea was that we would go up and celebrate a vesperal liturgy for the feast day of the church. Fr. Agathonikos claimed it was the smallest church in the Metropolis. I had my doubts – St. George in Southbridge is tiny. However, Fr. Agathonikos was right – it is beyond small. St. George has a tiny choir loft and organ and even has small side rows. The church in Franklin was smaller than the narthex at St. Spyridon.
The sign on the church says Transfiguration but also says St. Sotir. The founders were largely Albanian. They worshipped in Greek and remained in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. When I think of Albanian churches, I usually categorize them as either being under the OCA or under Bishop Katre (I am not going to get into the history of the split here). However, this church just remained under the Boston Diocese (now Metropolis). So, the service…Fr. Peter Chamberas, who lives nearby, came with his son-in-law Fr. Mark Leondis. I had hoped we could all serve together, but the altar barely fit me, so I had the distinct honor of having an archimandrite as my altar boy and an archpriest and the archdiocese youth director as my chanters! After the well-attended service we went to the Tilton House Of Pizza (the “T-HOP”) for fellowship and food. What a great time – I think it may become a yearly tradition. Some pictures…
This is the church:
This is the sign that I mentioned – it is tough to read in this picture, though:
The small altar:
This is a view of the entrance to the Blair Witch-like cellar. The ten-year old in me wanted to explore it while Fr. Agathonikos was speaking:
And the organ, which is still operational but is no longer used. I thought it was a piano at first. I couldn’t tell the make, and I didn’t have a chance to play it since people were milling around after service: