200th anniversary

Christ Church welcomes musicians for 200th anniversary concert



By Ron Giofu


A local church is having year-long celebrations to mark their 200th anniversary, with one of those celebrations being last Saturday night.

Musicians Tia McGraff and Tommy Parham, who have toured North America and Great Britain, stopped in Amherstburg for a 90-minute concert at Christ Anglican Church. It is the second event of the year devoted to celebrating the Ramsay St. church’s bicentennial.

“(Parishioner) Adrian Harte heard us at Mackenzie Hall,” explained McGraff. “He and his wife attend the church and they thought they would love to have us here.”

Christ Anglican Church held a special concert Saturday night as part of their 200th anniversary celebrations. Tommy Parham and Tia McGraff performed a 90-minute concert in front of about 60 people.

McGraff and Parham met in Nashville but now live in Port Dover. She said they closed last year in LaSalle and started their 2019 tour in Amherstburg. She said they play everywhere from churches to concert halls and have attended a number of festivals, including the Kingsville Folk Festival.

“We love doing churches. Our music is very spiritual,” she said. “It lends itself to peaceful listening.”

Father Bill Strang said the proceeds from the show will go into a general fund and also go towards funding future events for the church’s 200th anniversary. Approximately 60 people attended Saturday night’s concert.

The first anniversary event was an “Epiphany Party” held in January that saw about 40 people attend. There is a Shrove Tuesday pancake supper planned for March 5 from 5-7 p.m. that is free to the public and open to all. Father Strang said Meloche’s No Frills is assisting with ingredients for the pancakes. There are other events being planned throughout the year, Father Strang noted, including a gala dinner, a special service in May where couples can renew their wedding vows and a special 200th anniversary service the first Sunday in December.

An overhead look of the Tia McGraff and Tommy Parham concert at Christ Anglican Church Feb. 2. The next event the Ramsay St. church is planning for its 200th anniversary is a free pancake supper for the community March 5 from 5-7 p.m.

The first service ever held at Christ Anglican Church was on the first Sunday of December in 1819.

The church’s Sunday School is also holding a raffle where the first prize is two tickets to a Feb. 26 hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens at Little Caesars Arena. Father Strang noted the prize was donated by Sutton Funeral Home. Raffle tickets are $10 for ten tickets and $25 for 30 tickets and can be purchased by calling 519-736-7636. The draw will be Feb. 10.