Trinity Episcopal Church
218 E Benton St * Aurora, IL 60505 * 630-897-7283

Our History

 
                                                                       

Trinity Parish was organized in May, 1849.  After meeting in a school house, the foundation for a new church building was begun 1851 at the corner of Lake Street and Spruce Street.  The lot, donated by Roswell Wilder, was for consideration of a lifetime pew rent.  That church was consecrated on July 18, 1854.  In 1867, the brick Gothic church was abandoned for a more central location, Arcadome Hall on Broadway (now Route 25) and then sold to a Baptist congregation.
 On Easter Sunday, April 19, 1870, the cornerstone for the present stone church was laid at the corner of Benton and Lincoln Streets.  It was built at a cost of $11,250 and opened for services on Trinity Sunday, June 4, 1871.  It is now the oldest church in Aurora that is still occupied by the original congregation. 

Trinity Parish has had 27 rectors during its 158-year history.  Trinity is currently served by a transition Priest, Father Thomas Rosa and by our first Deacon in many years, Deacon John Dolan.

Magnificent stained-glass windows

In the sanctuary, the Tiffany-style windows reflect a 19th-century pattern: more picture and less gray, but they were made to harmonize with other windows in the church.  The window on the left depicts the flight into Egypt by the Holy Family, to escape Herod's wrath.  The middle window is Jesus in the temple at the age of twelve, and the one on the right is the Crucifixion. 

We recently discovered a book, "Symbols of the Church together with Saints and Their Emblems" edited by Carrol E. Whittemore with drawings by William Duncan, published by Whittemore Associates, Inc. Boston, Ma. that helped us compile a description of the symbols contained in Trinity's Stained Glass windows. The description is not definitive, so if you find mistakes or have additional information, please contact me at rob@trinityaurora.org. Click Here to view the updated document. In addition, we have compiled another document that details other symbols in the Church inclucing the Chapel, the Pulpit and the Baprismal Font. Click Here to view the new document.
                                                
The Pipe Organ and Screen

The screen by the organ console has two memorial plaques: one to an early rector, The Reverend Charles A Holbrook, who guided the church from 1883-1905; and to whom the organ was originally dedicated.  The other memorial is to John Leo Lewis, noted organist and composer, who served from 1950 -1971.  The organ, built for Trinity by M.P. Moller in 1924 at a cost of $14,000, was the third organ in the church.  In the 1970's it sustained water damage and went unused for more than 20 years.  It has been restored and rebuilt by William J. Stephens in 2001 and has been a cause of celebration and a series of dedicatory recitals held in that year. The organ has three manuals; great, swell, choir, echo, and pedal departments; and 27 ranks, plus 20 cathedral chimes and a 61-bar harp, which was the largest harp that could be installed in an organ.  To build it today would cost approximately $400,000.00.
                                                    
The Restoration of the Church

Starting in 2008 with a capital campaign which enabled the Church to secure Economic Development Funds from the City of Aurora, a massive renovation effort brought about the rejuvenation of the Church. The roof to the Parish Hall, the Cloister and the organ chamber was replaced. The Church, the Cloister and the Parish Hall were repainted in colors that were close to the original ones from the 1870s. The Church was tuckpointed. Interior lighting was re-done to improve visibility and reduce costs. Exterior lighting was added. A handicapped accessible ramp has been added. New signs proclaim our existence. The Bathroom and the Guild room nave been completely redone. Upgrades to the heating system have made it more efficient and less costly. Trinity received the 2008 Mayors Award for Excellence in Downtown Improvement. Efforts continue! Come be a part of this exciting rebirth of Trinity!

Click Here to download a more extensive history of trinity.