Christ Church United Church is situated in a quiet residential area surrounded by old-growth trees and ravine forest in the community of Clarkson, in southwest Mississauga, Ontario. More specifically, we are located on Mazo Cres. adjacent to White Oaks Public School with which we share a parking lot.
Christ Church has the unique record of being the only church to serve the Clarkson community for over 190 years. That our church is still a vibrant presence in the community is a testament to the generosity, commitment and strong faith of our pioneer forerunners.
We began in 1830 when the Merigold family granted a lease for a plot on their property for a school and meeting house. Regular church services were held there until 1859, when a church building was erected on the west side of Clarkson Road, on property also originally owned by Thomas Merigold. This church was not strictly denominational, as it was the only church within five kilometres, a good hour’s travel by horse. This church quickly became the focus for community life in Clarkson.
In 1875 a growing congregation required a new building. It was erected on land donated by Margaret Merigold, which is now the southeast corner of Clarkson Road and Lakeshore Road. Dedicated on November 7, 1875, it was called Carman Methodist Episcopal Church in honour of Bishop Albert Carman, a friend of Margaret Merigold. From 1918 to 1922, it was known as Clarkson Community Church and then reverted back to Carman Methodist Church.
The United Church of Canada was formed in 1925 with the union of the Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches. Carman Church then became Clarkson United Church.
In the 1950s a growing population in Clarkson necessitated yet another, larger, church. A site was chosen on Mazo Crescent.
The last service in the old Carman Church was held on January 29, 1956. The building was sold to St. Christopher’s Roman Catholic parish, but only remained a church for a short time thereafter. Since 1964, the old church building has been used for commercial and retail purposes. Traces of the church it once was can still be seen in the remaining gothic windows.
The ground breaking for the new church was held on May 1, 1955 with Mr. Stanley G. Harmer, Clerk of Session, turning the first sod and many of the congregation following with their own spades! The new building was dedicated as Christ Church, United Church of Canada on February 1, 1956 by the first moderator of the United Church the Rt. Rev. G. C. Pidgeon. On August 2, 1956, a plaque was unveiled in the Margaret Merigold Room, honouring the pioneer who gave our church its start. An additional wing for Christian education was dedicated a decade later in 1966.
In October 2000 the story of the bible came to vivid life through stained glass; a massive project to illustrate many beloved bible stories across 11 windows in the sanctuary. These windows remain a pride and spiritual focal point for vibrant worship in the congregation.
Today Christ Church is the spiritual home of approximately 300 families. The church continues to be a place of worship as well as a hub of activity for programs that cater to all ages. We offer two separate and distinct Worship Services on Sunday; one somewhat traditional and the other more contemporary with Christian Rock music. On any day or night of the week you can hear the music of the choirs, the laughter of youth, and the conversation of the volunteer committees that sustain our church and community. Bible study groups, programs for retirees and special interest groups, and the opportunity to seek counsel or quiet contemplation are readily available. The community continues to benefit from the presence of Christ Church as it provides space for the Clarkson Co-op Nursery, Scouts Canada programs and other support groups.
Sources: Clarkson and its Many Corners, Kathleen Hicks, 2002, Mississauga Library System. Our Heritage, Stanley A. Holling, 1975.