Our Story

Fr. Brian and Bishop Andrew share about his plans for new ministry in New Hampshire.

In the Fall of 2019, Fr. Brian had a pivotal conversation with our bishop, Andrew Williams. Brian had been serving as a priest for eleven years, in an assisting role with focus on youth and children’s ministry. Bishop Andrew invited him to begin exploring the possibility of leading a congregation. Over months of prayerful imagining and exploring of possibilities, Fr. Brian and Jackie began to rediscover old dreams, which had been lying dormant for fifteen years, of ministry in rural New Hampshire, where there is a vacuum of gospel-centered ministry.

Before long, they found a home in Brookline, NH, just a few miles away from Brian’s hometown. They bade farewell to their beloved congregation in Massachusetts and moved home to New Hampshire with a dream, albeit undeveloped, of turning their new home into a place of hospitality and prayer.

The first year in Brookline, spent mid-pandemic, was an ideal time for clarifying our vision for ministry in this place, for preparing the house itself for hospitality, and for finding ways to serve the community. Brian began serving at the local school across the street. Day by day, vision for fostering a safe and healing environment for local children began to form. As the physical renovation of the house went forward, that vision became clearer as it took shape before their eyes.

The name Saint Nicholas House emerged in December 2020, when the Church commemorates two saints, both named Nicholas. Nicholas of Myra’s reputation for generosity and kindness to children endures to this day. Less known, Nicholas Ferrar was an 17th-centurn Anglican clergyman who transformed his household and estate into a spiritual community, devoted particularly to daily prayer and charitable work amongst their neighbors.

One of the children joins in the renovation of the chapel.
Holy Week services in the barn.

Meanwhile, the beginnings of a small congregation began to come together, particularly for Sunday morning worship. Deacon Joshua moved to join us in Brookline, helping us to solidify patterns of daily prayer. The vision of a house of prayer in Brookline began to be a reality.

In The Fall of 2021, that congregation was recognized as a Mission Fellowship in the Anglican Diocese in New England, and Bishop Andrew visited to bless the house and consecrate its chapel as a place of worship on Saint Nicholas Day.

In its second year, Saint Nicholas House began welcoming children after-school on two days of the week, offering both karate lessons and children’s Catechesis. The backyard farmstead continued to develop, culminating in our first children’s farm camp in the summer.