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Christ Church Parish to celebrate 350th anniversary

Christ Church Parish was established in 1666. The church, cemetery and grounds will be featured on the Friday, April 29, Historic Garden Week tour of Middlesex County.

Christ Church Parish 350th anniversary celebrations will begin on Sunday, April 24, with a 10 a.m. service conducted in the Christ Church Parish sanctuary by The Most Reverend Michael Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. To accommodate extra seating, an audio video stream will be shown in the parish hall. A reception will follow the service.

On Friday, April 29, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Christ Church Parish will be the welcoming headquarters for Historic Garden Week held by the Garden Club of the Middle Peninsula, a division of Garden Club of Virginia. Walking tours will include the parish hall, the cemetery, and the church.

At that time the church will be decorated with an English style “Festival of Flowers.” Through the centuries flowers have been brought into places of worship to celebrate annual church festivals, and so it will be with the 350th anniversary of the founding of Christ Church Parish. On Friday, April 29, the sanctuary will be lovingly filled with flowers in a simple country garden style befitting this beautiful church. The lovely brick wall surrounding the church and cemetery was built with funding donated by the Garden Club of Virginia in 1942. The church will be open to the public.

On January 29, 1666, the general church vestry voted to establish a single Anglican parish on the peninsula in an area that in 1669 became Middlesex County. Sir Henry Chicheley (1614 to 1683) called the meeting at Rosegill, the 1650 plantation home of the Wormeley family. The 17 attending vestry members were prominent landowners in the area. On October 23 of 1666, the Virginia Grand Assembly confirmed this vote. The plan was to unify the Upper and Lower parishes and to build the “Mother Church” at a more central location. 

For further information about these activities, contact the Christ Church Parish office at 758-2006 or visit

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 03.23.2016

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