The parish of St. Barnabas was founded in 1888 by E. Pierson Beebe and his brothers and sisters in loving memory of their parents. The cornerstone for the granite church (trimmed with mountain meadow red sandstone) was laid in June 1889 and is located on the outside front left base of the church. The English village-style structure, designed by Henry Vaughn, was completed by June 1890. The name, St. Barnabas, is attributed to the church having been consecrated on the feast day of St. Barnabas, June 11, 1889. However, it is also of interest that the first Beebe ancestor to come to the colonies and reside on Cape Cod was Barnabas Beebe!
Architecturally, churches are generally fashioned in the shape of the cross, with the aisle representing pilgrimages or processions leading up to the crossing (in front of pews) and up to the chancel and altar. The nave represents the underside of a boat, when in ancient times religious services were held in the protection of an overturned vessel for shelter and privacy. The eight “ribs” in the ceiling is indicative of the Mayflower Design.
St. Barnabas Church Architecture
The lectern, at the end of the aisle on the right next to the Baptismal font, is in the shape of an eagle. This design represents the verses from Isaiah, “Born upon eagle’s wings” and “Strength like an eagle.” The lessons of the service are read from the lectern and the sermon – or homily – is usually given from the pulpit.
The Church Ceiling
Continuing up to the choir stall and overhead on the ceiling of the chancel are six stenciled designs, attributed to Henry Vaughn, in six repeated patterns: The crown of thorns with three nails in the center; the first three Greek letters of Jesus, “IHC”; the first two Greek letters ‘px’ of the title Christ (Messiah); pillars with a whip and sword represent Christ being scourged by soldiers (sword); the ladder, reed, sponge, spear and lantern were used at the crucifixion and the purse represents Judas betrayal; and the cross, hammer, pinchers and pliers were instruments used to secure Christ to the cross.
Stained Glass Windows
The High Altar window represents the Ascension with eleven apostles facing Jesus as he ascends to Heaven. This three paneled window was designed by Heaton, Butler and Byrne of Boston and is the earliest of all the windows. The five paneled Te Deum window (created in the United States) over the front door was dedicated in June 1964 in memory of the Reverend Wallace, former rector of Saint Barnabas.
The interior’s plain walls, interrupted by eight narrow stain glass windows reflect the strength and permanency of Christianity. The windows were created in England at the Charles E. Kempe studio (Note: a Kempe window is identified by bound golden sheaves of wheat in the lower left corner of each window). Start with the first window on your left, and continue down the aisle on the left hand side before coming back down the aisle on the right. 1st LEFT: The Jesse tree, a descendance, from King David to Jesus; 2nd Left: A “Christmas Window” depicting the Birth of Christ with attending shepherds; 3rd Left: A ”Christmas Window” depicting the Three Wise Men and the flight of the Holy Family from Egypt; 4th Left: Mary Magdalene washing the feet of Jesus in the upper panel, and in the lower panel the depiction of Peter, with the cock crowing in the upper left, denying he knew Jesus; 4th Right: Jesus being removed from the Cross. 3rd Right: The “Resurrection Window” depicts the discovery of the empty tomb; 2nd Right: Two scenes of the Acts of the Apostles-Pentecost depicted in the upper pane with Peter and John, and John in the lower panel assisting a lame beggar; 1st Right: The Baptism by John at the River Jordan, and the story of the Good Samaritan in the bottom pane. These eight windows were memorial gifts from different members of the Beebe family.
The Parish House and Chapel
Behind the church and to the right is St. Barnabas House. Dedicated in December 1890, it was a gift from Frank Beebe in memory of his mother and two sisters, Frances and Mary Louise. The house was originally used as a reading room or library for the town of Falmouth.
The low wall bordering the western side of the church property was built in 1891 from granite boulders brought from fields near Highfield Hall.
The Chapel, located behind the church, was originally a carriage house built in 1894 in memory of Frances Lathrop Beebe Fiske by her children. In 1962 the carriage house was converted into a chapel by William W. and Evelyn Peters as a memorial to his parents. Late afternoon summer services and year-round Wednesday morning services are held in the peaceful chapel.
In 2012 the Parish celebrated its 50th anniversary and was renamed "All Saints' Chapel". Weekly services are help in the chapel as are weddings, funerals and special services.
The Parish Hall
The Parish Hall was built in 1959, is used for numerous community gatherings by many organizations and houses the Sunday School classrooms and parish offices.
The Memorial Garden
The Memorial Garden was established to commemorate the centennial of St. Barnabas Memorial Parish. The garden has been created to receive into the earth the ashes of the faithful departed and to memorialize those interred elsewhere.
Names and dates are cut into bluestone slabs of varying size, set flush into the ground before the granite cross. The rough hewn benches, chapel wall and cross remind us of the permanence of Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth before all worlds and unto the end of time. The memorial trees, shrubs and flowers bring us to the reality of the risen Christ and the everlasting presence of the Holy Ghost, the comforter.
A registry of those in whose name memorial gifts are given will be maintained in the parish chapel. Memorial contributions should be directed to the Memorial Garden Committee in the name of the deceased, and will be used for the beautification of the parish property.
Many gifts were given to the church in memory of various Beebe family members whose efforts established the parish of St. Barnabas. These gifts include the nine windows, the baptismal font, choir stall, altar rail, pulpit, lectern, communion rail, hymnal board, bishop’s chair, church bell (not cast by Paul Revere as is the one across the street at the Congregational Church), organ, chalice, communion service, alms basin, prayer book and painting.
In front of the church and to the left is its rectory. The recently renovated house was formerly owned by Caroline Hatch and sold in 1871 to Robinson Crocker Bodfish. E. Pierson Beebe purchased the house in 1901, had the house restored, and offered to rent it to the parish for $400 per year.