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Founded by God and consecrated on September 29, 1928, the sanctuary of Christ Church Cranbrook was constructed through a remarkably generous donation by the noted philanthropists, George and Ellen Booth. Originally part of the Cranbrook Educational Community, the church became a freestanding congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan in 1973.
Our church is well known for its incredible beauty. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, the church is rich in architectural detail and full of historic paintings, tapestries, and other appointments by world-renowned artists and craftsmen.
Including work by woodcarver John Kirchmayer and silversmith Arthur Nevill, stained glass designs by G. Owen Bonawit, sculptures of the “Dawn Men” on the exterior buttresses by Lee Lawrie, and the large fresco at the front of the church by Katherine McEwen, the church was constructed with meticulous care and aesthetic attention.
However, our church is as spiritually beautiful as it is physically beautiful. We have a national reputation as one of the leading churches and institutions in the greater Detroit area. With more than 1,600 members, we are known for our transcendent worship, our transformational preaching, our welcoming community, and our generous mission and outreach programs in Detroit and Pontiac.
The Christ Church Cranbrook story goes back to the early 1900’s with a property purchase in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Since then, it has flourished to include many chapters that we are happy to share with you today.
Newspaper magnate George G. Booth and his wife Ellen purchase a 175-acre farm in Bloomfield Hills, MI, establishing a series of buildings beginning with their residence.
The Booths build the Cranbrook house on their estate.
The family builds an elementary school on the property.
Groundbreaking for Episcopalian church begins after Booth sees that a church is much needed in the Bloomfield Hills area. Up until this time, everyone had been traveling to neighboring towns for worship services. Booth worked with architectural firm Goodhue Associates on the build.
Christ Church Cranbrook is consecrated.
Since its dedication, the church has grown tremendously and is now made up of approximately 900 families and encompasses a wide variety of worship, fellowship, music and outreach opportunities.
The pinecone is the seedpod of an evergreen tree. It symbolizes the inexhaustible abundance of life in nature. Evergreen trees symbolize eternal life. The color gold symbolizes generosity.
White represents peace and serenity.
This is the Cross of St. George, Patron Saint of England. Red is symbolic of martyrdom and magnanimity. The Cross of St. George is central in the Union Jack, the current flag of the United Kingdom. It is also central in the arms and flag of The Episcopal Church. Cranbrook, Kent, England is the ancestral home of the Booth Family. Canterbury is located in Kent, and its cathedral church is Christ Church Cathedral, commonly known as Canterbury Cathedral. Both the Booth Family and the Episcopal Church have their origins in England.
The wavy red lines represent the fact that Christ Church Cranbrook is situated on the banks of the Rouge River in Michigan. Flowing water is also referred to as “living water.”
Arms of George Gough Booth
The Arms of George Gough Booth are included in the emblem of the parish in recognition of the central role Mr. and Mrs. Booth and their family played in the founding of the parish and establishment of the Cranbrook Community.
Blue (Azure) Background
The color blue represents loyalty and truth.
The color gold symbolizes generosity and elevation of the mind. The Chevron, resembling a roof, symbolizes protection and worthy accomplishment.
Bees symbolize efficient industry. Gold represents generosity. The head of the first generation of Cranbrook Booth family in America was Henry Gough Booth. George Gough Booth was in the third generation of Cranbrook Booths. His grandfather used one bee in his emblem, and his father before that used two bees in his emblem.
According to the compiler of “The Cranbrook Booth Family in America,” the bee was chosen because “[it] seeks out the beautiful, receives the sweet and nourishing, and works energetically to produce enough to share with others.” The family motto, devised by Henry Gough Booth, is “Look to the bees and follow.”