A Brief History of St. Dunstan’s
The first celebration of Holy Eucharist by St. Dunstan’s congregation took place on St. Dunstan’s Day in May of 1957. In its first months, the congregation, which began as a mission of the Diocese of Milwaukee, met in a conference room in the local Coca-Cola bottling plant. The Reverend Robert S. Childs was called to be priest-in-charge and continued as rector until his retirement in 1985.
A parish building, largely built by members of the congregation, was erected in 1958. Here the congregation worshipped until 1964, when the present church was completed. The new addition of a chapel and education center was completed in 1994. Over the years, members of the parish have actively engaged in developing and carrying out many programs of education, faith and service.
Reverend Childs was instrumental in creating our beautiful arboretum setting. The arboretum includes over 600 trees, including 126 conifers. Our location on a hill above Lake Mendota is also home to the parish Rectory, a handsome remodeled brick farmhouse that dates back to 1859. More than 200 of the plantings on the grounds have been dedicated to the memory of individuals â€” and beloved pets. This tradition continues each St. Dunstan’s Day.
Who was St. Dunstan?
Dunstan was the leading churchman and statesman of 10th century England. As Abbot of Glastonbury and Archbishop of Canterbury, he inspired reform of monastic life and learning. He advised a succession of kings as they worked to unify the realm. Dunstan also had great talent in metalworking, calligraphy and music. He died at Canterbury in May 988.
(Image from the Hermitage of the Holy Cross collection.)