Docents share the history, art and architecture of Christ Church Cranbrook with others

by Karen Martin and Janice King

You have probably heard or read the announcements about Docent Tours available after the 10:00 AM Sunday church services. Quite a number of people have enjoyed these tours.

Our purpose is to share information about this beautiful church, its history, art and architecture which help inform us about our past, present and future.

Did you know that Christ Church Cranbrook was planned with great care and with the help of many skilled artisans by the Booth family and this community, then given to the congregation as a gift? Our life as a parish began as a gift, as did our lives as Christians.

Our purpose as docents is to explain that gift, the art and architecture of our building, to as many people as want to listen and to look. We give tours on Sundays, before carillon concerts, and to any group with a particular or general interest in our church. We give tours to groups of all ages, from school groups to senior citizens, to folks who know little about art and architecture, to experts in specific aspects of our art and architecture, to parishioners and non-parishioners alike.

Certainly we enjoy these tours. We enjoy meeting people, sharing our knowledge and love of the church, and learning from the people in the groups.  In the process, we hope that all benefit from a deeper understanding of why the church is built as it is and what it can tell us about who we are and who we strive to become.

Everybody is welcome to take a tour and to consider becoming a docent.  The main requirements are, first, an interest in learning about church art and architecture, especially of Christ Church Cranbrook. Secondly, you need to be willing to attend training classes to increase your knowledge and understanding.  You will talk with other docents and even with experts in particular fields.  Thirdly, you need to be willing to lead tours both to share your knowledge and to increase it.

New docents join a proud tradition of giving tours that dates back to our first sexton and verger, Andrew Williams. The Women’s Auxiliary, later to become ECW, continued that tradition with the “Church Tour Committee.”  The current Docent Group, which includes men and women, began in 1978.

To learn more about the docents, contact Janice King, docent chair, at 248.644.5398 or emailjanbllng@aol.com.

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