Fall Feast Organized To Benefit St. Martin’s Church

BERLIN — The Fall Feast of St. Martin, a time to celebrate nature’s bounty at the end of the agrarian year, will be held on the grounds of historic St. Martin’s Church on Friday, Nov. 1.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and features local foods from land and sea, wines and spirits and live music. A tent for the festivities will be erected under the towering trees on the property and next to the 18th Century building. Jazz musician Dave Hollister will entertain.
The church will be open so visitors can see the progress being made in the continuing preservation and restoration both on the interior and exterior of the building. The Worcester County Garden Club will decorate the church in the style of the period. The church is located at 11413 Worcester Highway.
Construction on the brick building was begun in 1756 and finished in 1763, three years before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The brick exterior still appears today much as it did when construction was completed. Records from 1703 indicate there was an earlier frame building, a chapel of ease, at this location. St. Martin’s Church is listed on The National Register of Historic Places.
Attendance at St. Martin’s gradually decreased and, after St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Berlin was built, the church ceased having regular services and finally closed. Over the decades the building fell into disrepair. In 1993, the St. Martin’s Church Foundation was established to preserve and restore the structure. Today, the 257-year-old edifice stands to serve visitors and residents in educational programs, music, arts, living history and as a venue for historic weddings and receptions.
During October, tickets are being sold for a sterling silver and black diamond pendant called “The Key to St. Martin’s”, an exact replica of the key to St. Martin’s Church. The winning raffle ticket will be drawn on Nov. 1 at “The Fall Feast of St. Martin”. The pendant was designed by Sherrie Beckstead, president of the Board of Directors of the Historic St. Martin’s Church Foundation, and cast by master goldsmith Steven Clarke.
Only 150 raffle tickets will be sold; each chance is $50. The winner need not be present to win. All proceeds from the raffle and from the event will go to the Historic St. Martin’s Church Foundation to be used for the ongoing restoration of the historic property and for the new public facilities to be constructed at the site.
Tickets to The Fall Feast are $125 per person. For tickets to the event or to purchase raffle chances, call 410-251-2849.