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'It's emotional': Historic Corunna church demolished

Pete and Susan Pearson watch as the 160-year-old Christ Anglican Church came down in Corunna this week.

Pete and Susan Pearson were a little emotional at the corner of Hill and Lyndoch streets in Corunna this week.

They watched quietly through the construction fence as crews worked on the demolition of the 160-year-old Christ Anglican Church — the charming sanctuary where they were married in 1973.

“It is emotional,” Susan said, recalling the nuptials, officiated by Rev. Bissell, and the wooden pews crafted by the late Jack Kennedy, who also played the organ there.

“We love living in Corunna; the church was such a beautiful site."

Christ Anglican Church, Corunna, one day before demolition. Submitted photo

“As teenagers, we used to come sit on the steps of the church and hang out,” Pete added.

It only took a few hours to take down the familiar, white structure along the town’s main drag; emotional residents — some, long-time members of the church, which held its final service last year — gathered outside the construction site, Monday. Some were able to salvage the blooming daffodils for a keepsake.

Crews work on the demolition of the 160-year-old Christ Anglican Church in Corunna, Monday. Tara Jeffrey photo
Crews work on the demolition of the 160-year-old Christ Anglican Church in Corunna, Monday. Tara Jeffrey photo

According to the Moore Museum, the church doors were opened for worship by the Lord Bishop of Huron in August of 1861.

“The Sarnia Observer of Aug. 16, 1861 reports that the church opening ceremonies were crowded with 500 people attending the service while the building was built to seat 300,” the museum notes, adding that 45 people were confirmed on that same day.

The Observer also reported that a collection was taken which amounted to almost $50. At the dedication services led by Bishop Cronyn, “a lovely communion service consisting of silver chalices, paten, and wine flagon were presented to the church by Froome Talfourd in commemoration of the opening.”

Families involved in establishing the new congregation included the Allinghams, Millers, Wards, Maguires, Dobsens, Chisletts, Wilsons, Bucks, Ellis, Nevilles and Proctors.

At the time of is consecration in 1863, the church was a large dark brown frame building situated on Hill St. facing south.


Following a fire in 1904, a smaller church was rebuilt and consecrated by Archdeacon Richardson on July 2, 1905.

Froome Talfourd Esq. and his brother Field Talfourd, donated land for a cemetery which is located at the end of Church Street in Froomefield north of Corunna along the St. Clair river.

In 1954, major renovations were completed to the parish hall, church, and kitchen.

In Feb. 2011, the church amalgamated with St George’s and St John’s Anglican Churches in Sarnia, to form the All Saints’ Anglican Parish.

The final service was held Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, and the church was officially deconsecrated by the Rt Rev. Todd Townshend two days later.

The final service held on Easter Sunday, 2023.

The 1871 church bell, along with all the stained glass windows, were donated to the Moore Museum. 

Details about the purchase of the land, or future plans for the property, were not immediately available.

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