About Chaptico

Chaptico, or Choptico as it was originally called, enjoys the distinction of being the second oldest village in St. Mary's County next to St. Mary's City.  There are references to it as early as 1652. Chaptico reportedly means "deep water." In 1669, Chaptico is noted as the place where soldiers were mustered and an army organized for the Protestant Rebellion in Maryland. The first civil divisions of St. Mary's County were designated as "hundreds" which are equivalent to election districts today. Chaptico Hundred was first identified by that name in 1683. Chaptico was also established as a port of entry in 1683. At the time the church was constructed, there were existing warehouses and a wharf nearby. Chaptico bay was then deep enough for ocean-going vessels. As can be seen across Maddox Road from the church, it has since silted in to become a tidal marsh. King and Queen Parish is one of two original colonial parishes in the area now known as St. Mary's County. The original boundaries of the parish were reduced in size as newer parishes have been established.

About Us

The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. It is not simply a matter of "saving souls." Neither is it simply a matter of "feeding the hungry." Christian mission involves both the spiritual and the physical welfare of mankind, for Christ's love extends to all of life.

Christ Church, King and Queen Parish, part of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, has served the ministry of Christ's work in the world for more than 300 years.  

Founded by colonists both fearless and reverent who established roots that grew deep into the traditions of this land, our church community believes that we are called to be people of prayer, dedicated to proclaiming a lively faith in God, and service to others in the name of Christ.  

Consisting of some 300 members, Christ Church, Chaptico strives to live by the message and lessons of Christ, in which there are no outcasts and all are welcome. Our congregation is home to a diverse cross-section of people of varying backgrounds, ages, incomes, and degrees of spiritual enlightenment. The Episcopal Church itself walks a middle line between Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions, and does not discriminate for reasons of race, gender, sexual orientation, family status, country of origin, or comfort level with organized religion. We are sacramental and, worship-oriented, and encourage thoughtful, well-informed discernment about what God is calling us to do and be as followers of Christ. In short, we aspire to the kind of contagious Christianity that can influence and encourage the entire community, one life at a time.

 

Vintage ChurchAbout Our Historic Church

Christ Episcopal Church, Chaptico, is one of the oldest churches in continual use in America.  For over 300 years, this house of worship has served and developed a ministry in this community.  The congregation was begun in 1640, only six years after the landings of the Ark and the Dove, when Thomas Gerard, Lord of St. Clement's Manor, gave to the church 100 acres on the banks of what is now St. Patrick's Creek.  Twenty-four years later, William Marshall donated three heifers, stipulating that from them "a stock of cattle shall be raised for the maintenance of a minister."  In 1692 the congregation was officially established through the Act of Establishment, which directed the creation of parishes (geographic boundaries) in the Maryland colony.  In 1735, the Vestry at Bushwood applied to the General Assembly for funds to build a church nearer to the center of one of the parishes. That site was Chaptico.  The land for the church was donated by Philip Key, High Sheriff of the colony, and the grandfather of Francis Scott Key. The church of the parish was completed in 1736 and was then known as Chaptico Church. In 1840 it was consecrated as Christ Church. Tradition says the famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren, designed the church, which is built of red bricks with Flemish bond.  The interior has an arched ceiling supported by columns with beautifully carved capitals, a semi-circular chancel, and boxed pews.  Although greatly damaged by British troops during the War of 1812, the church has survived and prospered thanks to the continuous devotion of her members. 

Today, a vigorous community of people have a lasting commitment to the architectural and historic stewardship of Christ Church.

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