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The Church of the Holy Spirit
204 Monument Road
Orleans, Massachusetts 02653
The Reverend Adam S. Linton, Rector

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onstructed from the salvaged remains of a storm damaged inn and with a room that was once the galley of a clipper ship the Church of the Holy Spirit was described by its first rector as"small, rude, rough, rambling, obviously homemade". Since the founding of the church, its parishioners have also filled it with many wonderful works of art and hand-made objects over the years. Today the church still maintains a craft guild and craft shop that was started in the 1930s.

The time was during the Great Depression and the Episcopal Church was struggling financially along with the rest of the country. Told of the immense task of starting a church in such difficult times, the small determined band of Cape Codders responded, "What do you mean it’s impossible to start a church?" The Church of the Holy Spirit was born on the Day of Pentecost, 1933.

With a pine table as an altar and a rail fence as an altar rail, the fledging church began to hold services. After an ice storm struck the Cape during the winter of 1933/34, the Chequesset Inn in nearby Wellfleet lay in ruins. Parishioners gathered the remains of the inn and hauled them to Orleans. In 1935, using a design by one of their own, Vernon Smith, and the skilled carpentry of a retired Methodist minister who lived nearby, these early parishioners used their own hands to construct their church from the salvaged material. They would continue to add to the church for several years to come using the remains of the inn.

Richard Kimball was one of those early parishioners who later became their priest after he was ordained in 1940 and would remain there until his death in 1950. He and his wife Florence lived in a house next door to the church. Their house had been constructed from a section of the old Higgins Tavern, dating to the early 1800’s, and the galley of the clipper ship, Orissa, which had foundered on a sand bar in 1857. The house, called "Galley West" by the Kimball’s, was used by the church for various functions through the years and later given to the church. The church rectory was built in 1940 and was constructed from the salvaged remains of a barn by the same retired minister and band of volunteers. It is still in use today and known as the Kimball House.

Rev. Kimball’s wife, Florence, established a craft guild and craft shop to help support the struggling church. With the help of Vernon Smith, she taught members of the church how to craft hammered aluminum into gift items. These and other hand-made items were sold in the craft shop. That tradition continues today and hand-made items can still be bought in the Galley West Craft Shop that was originally the Kimball residence.

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