All Saints' Episcopal Church
All Saints' Episcopal Chuch
Littleton, New Hampshire
Go a little deeper into our community
Who We Are: OUR HISTORY
The area’s first Episcopalians held services in other churches until 1874 when
the “Ladies of the All Saints’ Episcopal Society” held a fair, for two days and nights,
to raise money “for the sole purpose to build an Episcopal church in Littleton.”
Land was donated and their dream was realized. As a symbolic representation
of the church’s involvement in the Littleton community, the bell, installed in the
bell tower during construction of the church in 1875, came from the Saranac Glove
Factory, long a source of employment and income for local people.
Over the years, improvements and modifications were made including the purchase of a Victorian home on the north side of the property that served as the rectory and parish house. All Saints’ grew from tiny mission to full parish status over 50 years ago, and in this time has undergone two major renovations. The first in 1972 was a modern complementary addition with new entryway that allowed the undercroft to be re-imagined as the choir dressing room. More recently, in 2003, with the blessing and support of Bishop Theuner, and the solid commitment of this parish, the vision for a new facility connected to the church materialized. The dismantling of the old parish house was bittersweet, but some of the sense of loss was eased thanks to parishioner Carl Hilgenberg, who searched for and found a new owner for the building frame. The new parish center was officially dedicated in early 2004. Access to the sanctuary is now through a connecting entryway that beautifully blends and binds old and new together. This building project was a huge undertaking for a small parish and was only accomplished because of the enthusiastic commitment and generous support of our parishioners. Just a couple of years after the new building was dedicated the mortgage was paid off in full.
The Clergy who helped shape All Saints' parish to be what it is today:
+ The Rev. Carleton Schaller 1962-1989
In 1962, Carl Schaller borrowed a car from the Diocesan office in Concord and drove through Franconia Notch on a freezing winter day. He was headed for his interview at the mission church in Littleton for the position of Vicar. Thankfully, he was hired and remained Vicar/Rector for 27 years. He guided the congregation to be a thriving parish until he retired in 1989. Carl was an exceptional man of humbleness, integrity, faith, & inner resolve. At his retirement Bishop Theuner described Carl Schaller as one of the most respected men in the state of New Hampshire. He was honored as one of few clergy ever to be elected to the Diocesan Board of Trustees.
+ The Rev. Barbara Thrall 1990-2007
Barbara was called in 1990 and was our first female rector. Barbara added tremendously to the life and vigor of the parish for 16 years. During her tenure, we bravely committed to the most extensive improvement since the building of the church itself. Barbara’s inspiration and guidance gave us the confidence to replace the existing parish house that we had outgrown with a modern facility at a cost hovering just under one million dollars. Barbara shares: “It was a wonderful time for me and our family. Ed and I had a great time in the North Country, taking in the natural beauty and slower pace of the rural setting. We especially came to appreciate the people and the wonderful givers and sharers we found at All Saints’. The Diocese was healthy and generous, holding All Saints’ in high regard.”
+ The Rev. Kurt C. Wiesner 2008-2015
Kurt, our youngest rector, accepted the call to All Saints’ as his first priest-in-charge position. We responded to his vitality and appreciated his ability to blend old traditions with new. Kurt continued the development of his preaching style and taught adult formation classes and Holy Mo!y with the children. He embraced technology and created a blog in which he posted his sermons and commentary on issues relating to current events, gender issues, and popular culture.
+ The Rev. Curtis Metzger 2016 - 2023
Curtis came to us in the thirtieth year of his priesthood, but having worked mostly outside of parish ministry, and after a long career in nonprofit health-related organizations and the State Division of Public Health Services. He has been instrumental in improving administrative and financial areas in the parish, as well as helping us address issues with the physical plant. His background in music and liturgy have helped to enrich our worship life, inspired us to get one of the finest grand pianos in the North Country, and through memorial donations has helped us bring colorful altar frontals, other hangings, and vestments to the sanctuary. With his experience in Public Health, he was a good shepherd for us through the COVID pandemic. He has also introduced us to Centering Prayer/Christian meditation, and a small group meets every Tuesday, and occasionally other times through the year.
Who We Are: OUR BUILDINGS
The church sits on a small lot in the center of town, and is just steps from a thriving and busy downtown. The church proper, built in 1875, is of brick. A small bell tower dominates the east end. The Food Cupboard now occupies the former entrance lobby at the lower west end of the church. The intimate sanctuary has white stucco walls punctuated with stained glass windows. The parish center provides a fully accessible entrance to the church, and houses the parish hall with a media system, full food service quality kitchen, and the capacity to seat 117 people for dining, or 250 auditorium style. There are also offices for the rector and administrative assistant, a storage room, conference room, choir room, fellowship room for midsized gatherings, and a “parlor” or common room for small-group activities. We love this extended version of our church and the limitless possibilities it affords. A number of town organizations currently make use of this space on a regular basis including, Dinner Bell, Tai Chi and NAMI. Additionally we have a modest number of other rentals throughout the calendar year. It is fair to say that we have struggled to take full advantage of facility rental opportunities but look forward to creatively working on this challenge as we move forward together. We do not have a dedicated parking lot, but in cooperation with our Community Center neighbors we have permission to use their lot on Sunday mornings, and by permission at other times.
Where We Live: OUR TOWN
Be Glad! Littleton New Hampshire
“One of the last classic Main Streets in New England, downtown Littleton is a vibrant center of commerce in a town nestled along the banks of the mighty Ammonoosuc River, close by the picturesque White Mountains of
northern New Hampshire.” Golittleton.com
Littleton is a uniquely charming, and quaint, yet always engaging and friendly small town. It became incorporated as a town in 1798, the same year New Hampshire became a state. The town’s first industries were located along the river and included the Littleton Grist Mill. Located approximately 155 miles from Boston and 110 miles from Portland, ME, and 170 miles from Montreal, Littleton quickly became a favorite recreation destination. Railroads brought visitors to the many grand hotels in the area as well as the Thayer’s Inn on Littleton’s Main Street.
Today, Littleton is a shopping and business hub. Determined to protect the unique shops along Main Street, Littleton’s Select Board restricted “big box” stores to an area on the west side of town. Nearby, the Littleton Industrial Park continues to develop as a center for light industry. Littleton’s award-winning Main Street boasts restaurants and cafes, one of a kind shops, and the world’s longest candy counter! The public library is home to our “Be Glad” Pollyanna statue - a tribute to hometown author. Eleanor H. Porter, and a small art collection. Littleton has won several awards and recognitions for its Main Street and businesses.
Littleton is the largest town in Northern Grafton County. Currently the population is around 6,050 people with a median household income of $45,049. 19.6% of individuals in Littleton live below the poverty level.^ Littleton is one of a few towns in the state where the average age is getting younger! ^ Source_2021_State of NH Economic & Labor Market Information Bureau
Littleton is located just north and west of the White Mountain National Forest and Franconia Notch State Park. These parks offer some of the best hiking and skiing in the east. The area is crossed by miles of snowmobile and cross-country ski trails and beautiful lakes for swimming, fishing, and boating. Outdoor enthusiasts travel from around the world to hike to Mt. Washington’s 6,289 foot summit and to kayak whitewater rivers and paddle secluded lakes in search of elusive moose. The Town of Littleton has several recreation fields, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. The popular summer recreation program offers children a variety of activities including swimming lessons. North of town, Moore Dam creates a beautiful lake in the Connecticut River, with several beaches and boat launches. The Ammonoosuc Rail Trail is a 19-mile trail from Littleton to Woodsville, NH and is open to hike, bike, snowmobile. There are miles of biking trails in Littleton, Bethlehem, and Franconia. The neighboring town of Bethlehem has recently been certified as a Bicycle Friendly Community, and is one of only three communities across the country being newly certified by the League of American Bicyclists.
In the past 10-years Littleton has experienced a kind of cultural revival. The “River District” incorporates art studios, shops, restaurants, and music spaces. You can sit at a table on the deck overlooking the river and enjoy a wood-fired pizza and a craft beer at Schilling, a delicious sandwich at Jack & Fin's, or a decadent pastry from Crumb Bum Bakery. You can sign up for an art or jewelry making class at the Littleton Studio School and peruse the offerings at Bad Art or take in a concert of local musicians at The Loading Dock. A riverwalk stroll takes you across the covered bridge and back across a suspension bridge further down river. On summer and early fall Sundays you can cross the covered bridge and sample local products at the Farmer’s Market.
On the first Friday of each summer month local shops, artists, and food vendors stay open after hours to pop-up, and celebrate the arts and culture of Littleton and the surrounding North Country region. First Friday is a grassroots event that values collaboration and connection within our community.
Theatre UP, a local amateur performance group produces several musicals and plays each year at the Littleton Opera House. Nearby towns offer a variety of social and cultural events including free weekly outdoor concerts during the summer in Bethlehem and Littleton, fabulous film, music and live theater offerings at The Weathervane Theatre, Colonial Theatre, Catamount Arts, Jean's Playhouse, and Dog Mountain.
Where We Live: DIOCESE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
All Saints’ has a long history of service to the diocese and the bishops of New Hampshire. We hold this relationship in high regard, knowing that our time, talent and treasure are truly valued by the bishop and staff at 63 Green Street in Concord. All Saints’ backs this participation by always contributing our Diocesan Fair Share.
The Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire is part of Province I of the Episcopal Church in the United States. The Right Reverend A. Robert Hirschfeld became the tenth Bishop of New Hampshire in January 2013. There are 48 Episcopal congregations and seven seasonal chapels in the diocese; three of these chapels are located within 15 miles of Littleton. We especially value our close relationship with St. Matthew’s Chapel in Sugar Hill.
All Saints’ is one of seven churches that comprise the Northern Convocation. Two elected members, and one alternate, plus clergy represent both convocation membership and double as voting delegates at Diocesan Convention. In the recent past delegates from this group have served as members of Diocesan Council.
Where We Live: ECUMENICAL INVOLVEMENT
Generally speaking, our ecumenical involvement arises from goals that we happen to share with the members of other churches, rather than from a concerted effort to be together. We work with other churches, schools and community service organizations to serve dinners at the weekly Dinner Bell held at All Saints’. The parish is invited to, and participates in, a town-wide Ecumenical Thanksgiving service. Each Memorial Day we join with other area churches to ring our church bells. Local clergy gathering on a regular basis has proved sporadic depending on the personalities represented from the various denominations.
What We Do | STEWARDSHIP
Stewardship at All Saints’ reflects our strong relationships with each other, our community, and God, as well as a commitment to financial stability.