Mission Statement: Acknowledging Christ as the spiritual leader of the church we strive to follow in His footsteps by welcoming all people to worship with us in Christian unity. We encourage spiritual growth based on biblical teaching and with compassion respond to the needs of the community.
Future Vision: Crawford United Church seeks to identify the changing spiritual needs of the Crawford Community and respond to those needs by being open to new ideas and methods to foster spiritual growth and promote Christian values.
Crawford United Church is a small country church nestled in the hills of Bentinck Township, Grey County, Ontario
Crawford United Church is affiliated with the larger Knox United Church in Durham, a relationship that has been beneficial for both churches. We share a minister, rely on them for secretarial services and support each other’s fundraising activities and social events.
The village of Crawford has traditionally been a close-knit community with residents supporting each other through good times and bad. Crawford United Church has provided continuous Christian leadership to the mostly rural Crawford Community since 1878.
This is now changing as many of the residents – and church members – are getting older. In the recent past seven valued church members have passed away while others have moved into retirement homes or are downsizing and leaving the area. At the same time Crawford is experiencing rapid growth with much new construction going on bringing new people into the area. This naturally changes the dynamics of the community presenting the church with both opportunities and challenges.
The church building dates back to 1878 and was originally used as both school and church. Over the years many improvements were made. It was during the middle to late 1940s that the beautiful sanctuary was updated with new wooden pews, hand-carved pulpit chairs, pulpit and baptismal font, many of which were donated by church members. The communion table was also hand carved by one of the talented church members. All of these items are treasured and still in use today.
Further improvements were made during the 1990s. The building was raised and a basement added. This area now contains a well-equipped kitchen, a friendship room, washroom and storage area.
Two washrooms were included in an entrance way addition added in 1997. To accommodate our less mobile members 2 chair-lifts make the building accessible to all.
The church has wonderful acoustics and is fortunate to own an old pump organ (donated in 1946), a Yamaha Electone Organ Model #D65 and a Technics Digital Piano Model #SX-PX663. A sound system for the sanctuary and the basement was installed in the late 1990s.
Church membership is small with just over 30 families making up the church roster and this has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage – a tight-knit church family ready to support and help each other. Disadvantage – a limited number of volunteers to carry out the work of the Church.
The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring the work of the church is completed in a timely manner.
The Session and Worship Committees take care of the worship services, including organizing services for communion and special holy days.
Ministry and Personnel (M&P) Committee oversees relationships within the congregation, particularly the roles and functions of paid personnel. It also recommends wages for paid personnel to the Governing Body.
The Stewards and Trustees are responsible for the financial management of the church and of the church property.
The church finances are reviewed annually by an independent auditor.
Activities and Events:
- Annual Special Anniversary Service – 141st in 2019.
- Joint Outdoor Worship Service with Knox United Church at Durham Conservation Park.
- Annual All Denomination Fall Fair Worship Service on Labour Day Weekend.
- Annual Advent Carol Service
- White Gift Sunday in December
- Fundraiser: Annual Garden Party – 118th in 2019
- Fundraiser: Annual Harvest Breakfast – 7th in 2019
- Community Outreach: Meet and Greet Program in support of Alzheimer’s Coffee Break.
The Community Outreach Program is focused on creating greater awareness and a welcoming environment for the residents of the Crawford Community believing this will open the door to newcomers. The church is financially stable which makes our community outreach program possible.
United Church Women (UCW):
The UCW has lost quite a few members over the past couple of years; however, existing members continue to work hard and meet for Christian worship, Friendship and Community Service through:
- Prayer Shawl Ministry – through the giving-away of handmade shawls to the sick and shut-ins, the UCW ladies meet their mandate of Service to the Community.
- Cater Funeral Lunches – having the familiar UCW serve the after-funeral lunches provides a small but significant comfort to the bereaved.
- Good Samaritan Christmas Box Program – In late October shoe-boxes are delivered to the church for members to fill with items to help youngsters around the world to have a Blessed Christmas.
- World Day of Prayer – The UCW along with ladies from two other local churches take turns hosting this worldwide event. In 2020 the spotlight will be on the Christian life and needs of Zimbabwe.
- Local Community Support – The UCW ladies are in tune with what is happening within the Crawford community and thus able to respond to those in genuine need.
Like many churches today Crawford United Church is facing challenges. However, the church family has shown great resilience and determination in the past. The church is now relying on those same qualities to meet and overcome any and all challenges.
- Growing church membership;
- Hiring a Music Director to provide a strong Ministry of Music;
- Responsive outreach to the Crawford Community.