By St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church on Episcopal News Service on June 22, 2023
During the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wilton, Connecticut, began to explore the church’s complicity with racism since its founding in 1802. At its 2020 annual convention, The Episcopal Church in Connecticut adopted a resolution “to direct each Parish, Worshipping Community, and Intentional Episcopal Community to take steps to discover and document historic complicity in racism in their parish and communities.” Early research showed that founding members of St. Matthew’s were enslavers while later, many freed Black individuals had been active members.
Known as the “Georgia of the North” by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, Connecticut was a key participant in the Triangular Trade that brought Africans to the Americas via the Middle Passage. Slavery existed in New England just as it did in the South in colonial times, with Connecticut finally abolishing it in 1848. Parishioners learned these facts alongside personal stories of people enslaved in Connecticut, which were collected from primary documents by middle school students and their youth leaders of congregations in three different towns in Connecticut during the first six months of 2023. Continue reading.