Trinity Cathedral, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, was the dream of the first Bishop of Easton, The Right Rev. Henry Champlin Lay. The original plans were for a group of buildings to consist of diocesan offices, a library, and Bishop residence, arranged around a courtyard in the style of larger European cathedrals. Building began in 1891 at a time when few American dioceses had cathedrals.
Worship services were first offered in 1892 in a partially completed building. The English Gothic Style Cathedral was built with granite shipped from Port Deposit, Maryland, inwardly equipped with furnishings that included a brass pulpit and eagle lectern and completed and duly consecrated in 1894. The exterior of the building was completed in 1978 with the addition of a spire and tower. The Cathedral’s varied styles of stained-glass reflect their dates of origin—from 1891 to 1979.
A major interior renovation of the Cathedral began in 2013. With the input of liturgical designer Terry Eason, the Chapter oversaw the removal of the original Rheredos, Altar, Communion Rail, Choir pews, and Transept pews. Construction then began on a worship platform positioned at the crossing. Trinity then employed master craftsmen—Jim McMartin & Jim Beggins—to build a new Altar, Credence Table, Cross, and Baptismal Font all to include veneers from Maryland’s famous Wye Oak. Other enhancements included new lighting and a new sound system.
Any telling of Trinity’s history must include space for the three major events of 2020—the Covid-19 pandemic, the catastrophic failure of the Moeller pipe organ, and the Cathedral Chapter’s decision to replace pews with chairs. As 2021 comes to an end, it is clear these challenges have shaped a smaller Cathedral congregation for a larger purpose—to continue our ongoing adaptation to global/societal changes in ways that enable us to share the timeless essence of God’s love poured into ever newer and relevant forms.
The Very Rev. Gregory L. Powell