The town of North Haven, Maine is a quirky place. There aren’t many places that boast so many churches (3) for such a small population (350) — nor many places where the churches actually change denomination depending on the season.
The tiny year-round community can support just one year-round church, the North Haven Baptist Church. In the summer, a simple clapboard Episcopal church opens its doors on the opposite side of the island, as does a century-old shingle-style Catholic church at the crest of Kent’s Hill on the way into town.
For those two months each year when droves of wealthy Bostonians and New Yorkers descend on the island (and Episcopalians outnumber Baptists by a wide margin) the Episcopalians don’t actually ever move into their own church. In fact, I’m not sure if any of the churches have ever been consecrated. Baptist parishioners head up-island, swapping spaces with the Episcopalians and leaving them to worship in the larger village Baptist church. Twice a year, the faithful join together in a union service at one or other of the churches. The Catholics host Sunday services most weeks during the height of the season.
The shingle-style Catholic Church, which was dusty and mysterious each time we would sneak into as kids, is the only local church that retains its religion all year long (even if it only opens for a few weeks each summer):