Thomas Coram, a wealthy sea captain and philanthropist, arrived from England in the 1690’s and established a successful shipyard on the Taunton River.
Thomas Coram returned to London in 1703 and left behind 59 acres of land in trust and a substantial collection of books to help found a Church of England in Taunton.
Twenty five years later, Thomas Coram’s intent was carried out: in 1728 a congregation of lay persons gathered and a small Church was built on the outskirts of town near the Three Mile River on what is now Tremont Street. Although the land trust was no longer available, Coram’s library of books became the basis for the young parish’s ministry. The Church was named St. Thomas.
During the Revolution, St. Thomas Church like most Episcopal Churches, fell upon hard times and was closed for a number of years. The building itself stood unused and blew down in The Gale of 1815.
In 1820 the parish was incorporated.
In 1828 the Vestry voted to seek a minister who was called and then a new building was erected in the center of Taunton on High Street.
The Church grew rapidly leading to the enlargement of the building in the 1840’s and this too was soon outgrown. The third and present structure designed by Richard Upjohn was consecrated in 1859.
A chapel was added in 1869.
A fire gutted the Church sanctuary in 1898, but it was rebuilt with the addition of a large three manual Jardine organ in 1899.
The historically significant 1759 McKinstrey House (presently the rectory) adjacent to the Church was purchased in 1907 for use as a Sunday School.
In 1910, Mr. & Mrs. Walter Cabot Baylies donated a Sunday School building. This parish house has proven to be of immeasurable value throughout the years to the Church and to the entire community.
In 1960, ground was broken for an addition to the parish house, which completed the complex of buildings as we know it today.