Category Archives: Chapel On The Green

Laundry Love

The Laundry Love initiative provides a straightforward way for donors to help people who are struggling financially by assisting them with doing their laundry.

Trinity supports the Laundry Love initiative in New Haven at the Bubble and Squeak Laundromat on 130 Park Street, New Haven. Connecticut.

Your donation helps those who might otherwise lack the means to care for themselves.

Bubble and Squeak, 130 Park Street New Haven, Ct.

Bubble and Squeak, one of the oldest laundromats in New Haven, sponsors a cleaning day for homeless and other needy people on Tuesday between 10 am and 2 pm. They are one of the oldest laundromats in New Haven, with over 26 years experience.

Map of Bubble and Squeak location 130 Park Street New Haven



Chapel on the Green Overview

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Mathew 25:34-41

COTG - Intro image for Welcome to Chapel on the Green videoEvery Sunday at 2:00 pm, 52 weeks a year, outdoors in almost every sort of weather — the service was only canceled once since 2008 during a blizzard — behind the church, or in front when the rain makes the Green too soggy, Trinity offers a short Eucharist service followed by a simple lunch. Led by Trinity or visiting Clergy, a congregation “of all comers” — between 50 to 150 people — show up weekly  to sing, offer prayers, celebrate a simple Eucharist and partake of a meal. Special services are offered in a foot washing clinic, handing out socks and clothing, a moving memorial to the homeless who have died the past year, and the popular Fourth of July grill/picnic. Click on the image to see a video explaining the purpose and history of Chapel on the Green.


We use grape juice to stand in solidarity with those who do not drink alcohol.  We believe this is God’s table and all are welcome to receive Communion.

The Push Cart Altar

COTG - Portable altar from Facebook page for COTGOne item is of particular importance — the portable, or push cart altar.   Constructed by former Warden Warner Marshal, who wrote, “The top is made from old oak pews from the main floor of the church, and the sides and front frame are made of old pine pew seats from the balconies,  where the blacks and less-fortunate once sat, so that they are combined into one altar for all (along with some scrap lumber from around here, as you say).  The shopping cart handle just seemed like a modern badge of the homeless.”

Every Sunday at 2:00 in all sorts of weather it is rolled out onto the Green, then back again, waiting in the wings of the church.

Help Wanted!

But every Sunday extra hands are most welcome to ensure a great experience of prayer and service. An hour of your time can do a world of good for others and for yourself.  Help is always needed. Anyone of any faith is welcome to help and very appreciated.  If you want to help, or your regional church or volunteer or organization wants to support this ever more necessary ministry, contact Samantha Butler.

COTG - New Haven Register article AR-311049949.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667Click on the picture for a New Haven Register feature article on November 4, 2012, titled “New Haven church without walls serves homeless”, By Mary E. O’Leary


Trinity was founded as a parish in 1723.  Its first wooden church was built in 1752–53. The second Gothic stone church, built in 1814–1816—with its carefully maintained and inspiring Gothic revival exterior and interior—is a landmark structure on the New Haven Green at the corner of Temple and Chapel Streets.

Trinity offers compelling preaching, diverse worship styles, and absorbing programs for adults, teens, and younger children.

Trinity’s multiple opportunities for fellowship and outreach are typified by its Chapel on The Green, a weekly Sunday afternoon outdoor service of worship, food and fellowship, open year-round to all and conducted in collaboration with other New Haven area churches.

The church’s strong music program is centered in its choirs: the Choir of Men and Boys, founded 1885 and one of only two such choirs in Connecticut; the Choir of Men and Girls, founded in 2003; and the Trinity Parish Choir, a mixed adult choir that sings a variety of sacred choral pieces.


LIfe at Trinity

As we pray, sing, serve others and learn together, we discover more about who God is in our lives. We realize our lives are intertwined with one another and that God is calling us to do something for the world in which we live.

Currently, hundreds of people pass through Trinity’s doors during an average week. We are usually bustling with activities; whether it is one of our three choirs practicing, committees meeting, or a social event, there is always something going on at Trinity.

We invite you to be part of our life together. At Trinity, there are many opportunities for involving yourself, for serving others and for growing in your spiritual journey.

Trinity people take adult and youth mission trips all over the country and beyond its borders. Locally, Trinity people help many important organizations carry out their missions: preparing meals for Columbus House, building homes for Habitat for Humanity, and finding numerous other opportunities to serve God in the world.

Trinity offers many educational activities and programs for children and adults. Each winter and spring, we offer different spirituality programs. On most Sundays, we offer exciting Sunday School classes for children and engaging forum topics for adults. We have two active and vibrant groups for school-aged youth.

As the largest Episcopal church in New Haven, we are fortunate to have many active programs and opportunities to see God at work in the world.

Outdoors in any weather

52 Sundays a year in every weather condition, Trinity provides a unique venue—on the town green outside the church walls—to bring hope, solace, food, and fellowship to any and all who choose to join in.  The only time we had to cancel the service was at the height of Hurricane, that left many homeless and toppled a famous oak Green on the Green itself.

The Chapel on the Green was founded in the summer of 2008 through the efforts of the Rev. Alex Dyer, now priest-in-charge at St. PJ’s in New Haven.  This outdoor service began on All Saints’ Sunday in November of 2008. It is based on the Common Cathedral in Boston.



Simple service, nourishing food

Led by Trinity Clergy, a congregation of all comers gathers at 2 PM each Sunday to sing, offer prayers, celebrate a simple Eucharist and partake of a meal provided by volunteer organizations.

In the summer of 2008, Trinity on the Green partnered with community agencies and clergy from other churches to launch “Chapel on the Green.” This outdoor service began on All Saints’ Sunday in November of 2008. It is based on the Common Cathedral in Boston.

Every Sunday at 2:00 pm people gather on the Upper Green (directly behind Trinity) for a brief (25-30 minute) service of Holy Eucharist in all sorts of weather. We do not cancel services due to weather.


We use grape juice to stand in solidarity with those who do not drink alcohol. We believe this is God’s table and all are welcome to receive Coummunion.

ALL are welcome

This service has attracted a wide variety of people across New Haven: those interested in social justice, the homeless or anyone that does not feel comfortable in a church building.

Join our drum circle before the service at 1:30 pm. Following the service, we distribute bagged lunches to all those in need.


The average unhoused  person walks 8.5 miles a day.  Shelters typically make their clients leave between 9:00 and 5:00, and they have to walk New Haven’s streets to find what they need to survive.  Shoes, socks, and feet take a beating.  Except in the very worst weather, they are exposed to the weather: wool caps and parkas are important to survival.  Without the means to keep their clothing washed, socks need to be discarded most often: if not, the health of unhoused people’s feet quickly deteriorate.   Distributing clothing and socks is as important as handing out a meal.

Foot washing

The average homeless person walks 8.5 miles a day.  Shelters typically make their clients leave between 9:00 and 5:00, and they have to walk New Haven’s streets.  Shoes, socks, and feet take a beating.  Once a year Trinity sponsors a foot-washing ceremony.  This is no typical ceremony of foot-washing that traditionally and symbolically takes place on Maundy Thursday before Easter in Christian houses of worship.  In the spirit of Chapel on the Green, the ultimate Mary and Martha outreach program, it combines religious spirit practical work.

In 2012, the event was was a full wash with podiatric clinic sponsored  by Trinity Episcopal Church and its outreach program to the homeless, called Chapel on the Green. The service commemorates and recalls Jesus’ washing the feet of his disciples. Also, Abraham’s cleaning the sand off three visitors to his tent in the desert, in Genesis, visitors who turned out to be angels.

Below is a video filmed by Ronald L. Grimes while at Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, who has kindly shared it with Trinity.  He describes the somewhat windy day and the event as follows:

“Chapel on the Green is a weekly outdoor service sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church, New Haven, Connecticut. On Maundy Thursday, 2012, grounded by the rhythms of Drums Not Guns, volunteers, church members, and clergy combined the ancient ritual of foot-washing with medical foot care for people who walk the streets. After many feet were washed, massaged, and outfitted with new socks, vouchers were given for a pair of shoes, and an outdoor meal was served.”

Regional participation in Chapel on the Green

Trinity relies on outside groups to sponsor and prepare the lunches.  Churches from all over Connecticut and beyond come on volunteer missions to Chapel on the Green.  They provide food, and sometimes socks and caps, for the homeless, and attend the short “all are welcome” Episcopal service along side the weekly group of 50 to 200 people who attend the service.

If your church is interested in sponsoring lunches for one Sunday, contact our Coordinator Samantha Butler.

COTG - Portable altar from Facebook page for COTGThe cross on the image above is taken from the distinctive “Traveling Pushcart Altar”, with four small wheels and a handle.  It was built by Trinity Church Warden Warner Marshal out of scrap lumber from his barn in 2008.  It has survived ice storms, rain, snow, heat, and excessive humidity.  It has served us faithfully for 52 weeks a year every Sunday since 2008 – save one very wet Sunday, when a deluge left the Green more like a lake than a lawn. In 2014 the cross on the front was painted red.

Sponsoring lunches means providing 150-200 bagged lunches and providing at least six volunteers.Those who made the lunches also participate in our service and distribute lunches – they often tell us it was one of the most meaningful religious services they ever attended.  Any leftover food is given to other church run local food programs for distribution.

Lunches consist of:

sandwich (ham or turkey, with some peanut butter and jelly )
piece of fruit (ideally banana, orange or softer fruit)
bag of chips, or granola bar
bottle of water
dessert:  pudding cup, apple sauce, cookie, layer cake

Lunches need to arrive to Trinity by 1:30 pm.

All the Way to Chapel on the Green

For the experience of See the Video, All the Way to Chapel on the Green. Volunteers from Saint Peter’s, Cheshire CT , came to New Haven on a cold, snowy day to worship and share a meal with the homeless. Ana Arellano arranged the photos by Mallory Naylor and John Andrews perfectly to capture the experience.


Being in a church is about building relationships. Trinity’s many organizations help to make our church a truly vibrant community.

Trinity’s lively and active parish community is led by volunteers who engage with each other through numerous committees, ministries and interest groups. Here are key contacts to guide your search for activities of interest to you.

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