Annual Homecoming Service
& Parish Picnic at Wickliffe Church!
Second Sunday of August
ALL ARE INVITED
NOTE: We host a ‘mini mission’ / clean-up day at Wickliffe on the first Sunday of August.
This allows us a fun opportunity to come together to get the ‘old girl’ all cleaned-up for the annual service the following week.
This special and unique Morning Prayer service is taken directly from the 1789 edition of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer and offered by our rector or special guest. The service is followed by a covered dish parish picnic held on the lawn beneath Wickliffe’s shady old oak trees. This is a community event and everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. It’s a wonderful day of faith, fellowship and food!
A Brief History – 1819-1918
On June 8, 1816, a number of parishioners from the Old Chapel Episcopal Church who lived north and east of Berryville gathered together to discuss the possibility of forming a small mission church. In the days of poor roads, many found the trip to Old Chapel long and difficult.
Those who gathered found that there was enough interest and support to form this new congregation. Subscriptions (i.e. financial pledges to support the building of a church) were soon made in sufficient numbers to begin planning for Wickliffe’s construction. By 1819, the new building was completed and in use. It was named Wickliffe Church, honoring the ministry of John Wycliffe, an English scholar, philosopher, and theologian (1320-1384).
Over a century before the Protestant Reformation, John Wycliffe was an outspoken advocate of the ideas and theology which such men as Martin Luther and John Calvin would later embrace. Wycliffe was also an early advocate for the translation of the Bible into the common language. It is probable that he personally translated the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Though his ideas were repudiated and his followers suppressed at the time of his death, he is now recognized as the great forerunner of the English Reformation.
Among the families subscribing to the new church known as Wickliffe were members of the: Meade, Parker, Ware, Lewis, Page, Sinclair, Taylor, Throckmorton, Opie, Burwell, Dorsey, Cleveland, Mutter, McEndree, Blackburn, Suille, Smith, Milton, Nelson, Muse and Roper families. Some of these families continued to worship at Old Chapel but wanted to lend their financial support to the new congregation.
Wickliffe continued as a mission of Old Chapel until 1834, when it and the recently formed Grace Episcopal Church in Berryville united to create a new parish – Clarke Parish. St. Mary’s Memorial and the Church of the Good Shepherd in Bluemont also have their roots at Wickliffe Church. In 1919, after a population shift and much improved transportation, the congregation at Wickliffe was rendered very small and services were discontinued – the members of Grace and Wickliffe became one and worshipped together weekly at Grace’s in-town location. A service is now held at Wickliffe Church once a year to celebrate our heritage and history together as a parish.