The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Rock of Angels memorial moving to Bristol

Media Release, October 16, 2017

Sandy Hook Memorial at St. John’s Church, Sandy Hook moving to Bristol

The “Rock of Angels” stone monument at the former St. John’s Episcopal Church in Rock of Angels Sandy Hook MemorialSandy Hook will be moved to a new location in Bristol, Conn., this Wednesday, October 18. The granite monument, now on a hill overlooking the Sandy Hook Elementary School, memorializes the 20 children and 6 staff who died at the school in December 2012.

The move was prompted by St. John’s decision in 2016 to close, which meant that its buildings and land would be available for sale. The future of the monument, along with its care, needed to be determined in that process. Efforts by former members and church officials to have the monument maintained where it is now or elsewhere in Sandy Hook or Newtown weren’t successful.

The monument will go to diocesan property in Bristol, amidst 23 acres of woodland and trails that surround Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center. The Center provides services for children, youth, adults, and veterans. In its new home the monument will be easily accessible via a short walk from roadway parking.

“In December 2012 our hearts were broken when we heard the devastating news of the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School,” said the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. She worked closely with the congregation as it voted to close, and later with town officials and others exploring options for the memorial. “One faithful man’s response, in building this memorial to those who died, was placed at St. John’s in 2013 as a place for people to go to remember, to pray for God’s healing, and to feel God’s call to share God’s love. With the closing of St. John’s, we have moved this to a place whose ministry is all about embracing healing and new life.”

The granite monument has a 9’ x 5’ oval-shaped base encircled with etched images of 26 angels. A top tablet set at an angle on the base lists the names of those who died. Small solar-powered LED lights on the base light the names at night. It was commissioned by Richard Gray of Florida and created by artists in Maine.

For more information contact the Rev. Timothy Hodapp, Canon for Mission Collaboration of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut,

Photos from the moving the memorial and placing it in the new location in Bristol:


Photo credit: Dave Desmarais