Barrington Has Rich Religious History

By Patterson, Kwame | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 23, 2004 | Go to article overview
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Barrington Has Rich Religious History


Patterson, Kwame, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kwame Patterson Daily Herald Staff Writer

It is said that God lies within the heart of the Barrington community. Perhaps that's why the Barrington area contains about 20 separate houses of worship.

"The community has always been faith-based," said Nancy Holmes, parish administrator for St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Barrington.

Some of the oldest and largest churches in Illinois are located in Barrington, according to village officials.

Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington began in 1975 with only 125 people. Now, more than 17,500 people attend Willow Creek.

In addition, St. Anne Roman Catholic Church in Barrington has one of the largest Catholic memberships in the country, with close to 12,000 people.

Barrington's history plays a major role in the high populations of local worshippers.

In the earlier part of the 1840s, village settlers established Barrington's first school, naming it Northway. On Sundays, Northway doubled as a church house, according to town historians. In search of good farmland and faith, hundreds of settlers and immigrants began to flood the town in the 1850s, according to local parishioners.

Barrington United Methodist Church in Barrington Hills was established in 1840 and is now labeled as the oldest church in the area. Its original members were some of the first settlers of the "Barringtons," according to Pastor James Wilson. He said the majority of the church's members were people who moved from New England and traveled West.

Barrington's primary religions still are Christian-based.

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