St. Thomas’ Church will hold its 118th annual Summer Fair on Saturday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 33 Chestnut St. in Camden.

With a Country Store theme its many booths will appeal to all ages. But of particular interest this year is the Bake Sale Table where for 45 years Polly Chatfield has presided over a team of dedicated bakers.

Polly Chatfield is a seasonal member of the St. Thomas’ congregation. Not a snow bird, though, who exchanges the snows of Maine for the sunshine of Florida. Instead, she leaves behind the bleak winter streets of Cambridge for the lush summer farmlands of Rockport.

Chatfield then takes on her summer roles as a soprano in the church choir, and as a talented baker, producing tempting items for sale at the Summer Fair. She is renowned for her single-layer carrot cake, a family birthday favorite, a no-nuts brownie, and blueberry muffins.

She decorates her cakes with flowers, and once brought a mason jar of them to decorate the table. When someone purchased those flowers she said, “Anything to turn a buck,” and continued the practice.

It all began in 1967 when Chatfield, a newcomer to the area, met Ruth Tolman who persuaded her to make something for the church’s Summer Fair Bake Sale Table. Now 45 years later she still presides over this annual event.

In her modest way, Chatfield pays tribute to other faithful members of the Bake Sale Table, each contributing his or her own specialty: Jan Gilley’s Raspberry Jam with fruit from Helen Black’s garden is much sought after, as are Andrew Moran’s Beer Bread, Robin Doncaster’s frozen confections, Millie Crocker’s Jam, and Jill Glover’s Morning Glory Muffins.

Chatfield attributes the smooth running of the operation to the behind the scenes coordinating talents, and vigilant attention to detail, of organizer Jean Harper.

Disasters do not deter these intrepid saleswomen. One year they were forced to take refuge in the auction tent during a downpour, but the food remained dry in the center of the tent, even though water cascaded down the unprotected backs of the sellers.

The reputation of these bakers is such that those in the know line up early, as though at Filene’s basement sale. Every year a lady with two bags, ready to be filled, is always there waiting for the fair to open.

Chris Glass, garbed in the black soutane of a medieval priest, sells Indulgences at the Fair, in order to fill the coffers of the church. Chatfield suggests that buying from the Bake Sale Table is also like buying an Indulgence. It absolves you from the sins of gluttony, avarice, and pride, endemic to church fairs, all on the list of the 15th-century Pope Gregory the Great’s Deadly Sins. fair-goers can buy and enjoy, with a clear conscience, as we honor Polly Chatfield.

As you stroll the attractive grounds and visit the church rooms, do not neglect the attractions of used books, jewelry, Granny’s Attic items, and the entertainment of face painting. A revival this year is Kay’s Boutique, not rummage, but used clothes of class and charm as specified by the late Kay Tucker when she was in charge of the booth.

There will be no luncheon this year, but appetites can be satisfied with hot dogs, or St. Thomas’ renowned chicken salad, available by the quart. Thirst can be slaked at the lemonade stand.

Lucy Ebbert and her roster of hardworking volunteers extend a warm invitation to the community to come, mingle, buy, and share with them a pleasant summer Saturday.