On Wednesday, August 20, 1890, the Rt. Rev Henry Adams Neely, second resident Bishop of Maine, and four accompanying clerics, all appropriately robed, strode out of the studio home of Winslow Homer overlooking Cannon Rock at Prouts Neck, and, crossing over a dirt road, mounted the front steps of a church almost directly opposite. There they were received by the Chapel's officers, among them J.Vaughan Merrick, Rector's Warden of St. Timothy's Church in Roxborough, Philadelphia, the mission's "mother" congregation, and Charles Savage Homer, Sr., the patriarch of the family who were then Prouts Neck's principal landowners.
    The first of these gentlemen read the Bishop a Request to Consecrate, and the second-named certified that the building was free of all indebtedness. Then with appropriate solemnities, Bishop Neely Created St. James Church, Prouts Neck, and dedicated it to the patron saint of fishermen and "all them that go down to the sea in ships". After the service, Bishop Neely, his fellow clergy, and new congregation's officers and invited guests repaired to the cottage then and now called "The Ark", where all partook of the Homers' celebrated hospitality.
    Thus was born a congregation which has become a unique, unifying force in the history of the Prouts Neck's summer colony.

“Consecration of St.James Church”
Ink Wash by Winslow Homer (1890)
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