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Christ Church Cranbrook Records

Identifier: 1992-01

Collection Scope

SERIES I: Administration (1927-1995) documents the administrative and financial activities of the church over time. This series contains two subseries:

Subseries 1: Governance and which contains annual reports and bylaws.

Subseries 2: Financial which contains a large number of reports that provide a clear picture of Christ Church Cranbrook’s fiscal health over time.

SERIES II: Building and Grounds (1926-1999) consists of two subseries:

Subseries 1: Acoustics Committee and Building and Grounds Committee. The Acoustics Committee subseries documents decision-making processes regarding the church organ and P.A. system.

Subseries 2: The Building and Grounds Committee. Documents building, refurbishment, and alteration of the building and grounds. There is an especially well developed set of documentation regarding refurbishment of the Church School Education Wing circa 1996-1998.

SERIES III: Cultural Properties (1923-1998) documents the artwork and craftsmanship that adorns Christ Church Cranbrook.

SERIES IV: Church Activities and Functions (1928-1988) documents church events like festivals and special services to honor graduates and the dead.

SERIES V: Historical Documents (1926-1979) contains documentation and reminiscences of important events and milestones in the early history of Christ Church Cranbrook.

SERIES VI: Inter-Institutional Relations (1931-1980) documents relationships with other religious institutions and with the other institutions that comprise the Cranbrook Educational Community.

SERIES VII: Missions (1947-1979) documents the outreach activities that members of Christ Church Cranbrook undertook over time. Included in the series is the publication Life and Work that deals with the activities and goals of the Detroit Industrial Mission.

SERIES VIII: Personnel (1930-2002) documents the activities of clergy, lay ministers, and volunteers. Included are runs of correspondence, sermons, clippings, and documents pertaining to a search for a new rector that occurred in the period between 1980 and 1982. This series contains six subseries: Staff, Clergy, Rectors, Rector Search Committee, Vestry, and Volunteers and Lay Ministers.

SERIES IX: Publications (1928-2001) contains the many publications of Christ Church Cranbrook. The weekly publications-- The Carillon (1928-1967); Newsletter, Calendar and Soundings (1968-1972); and Communicator (1972-1983) are included. This series contains, when possible, two copies of The Carillon (1928-1967), Newsletter, Calendar and Soundings (1968-1972), Communicator (1972-1983) and Christ Church Cranbrook (1962-1984). Varied manuscripts of the Pilgrim's Guide (1939-1956), the Visitor's Guide (1981) and parish directories complete the series.

SERIES X: Social Issues (1939-1980) contains documentation concerning social issues with which the church and its leadership became involved. Especially well developed and interesting are the files relating to the Black Manifesto, Sexuality, and Religion in the Schools.

SERIES XI: Realia contains stained glass and a printer’s block.

SERIES XII: Oversized (1928-1952) contains a newspaper, financial presentation, sketch and scrapbooks.


  • 1923 - 2002



Access to the collection is unrestricted.


Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.


On 15 May 1904 Henry Wood Booth, father of George Gough Booth, pitched a tent on the bluff overlooking Cranbrook and Lone Pine Roads and preached a Sunday sermon for his fifteen neighbors. The property was a small corner of the 175 acres that George Booth purchased in January 1904, and on which he built his country home in 1908.

Henry Booth continued to conduct his Sunday services in the tent, on the porch of Cranbrook Cottage, and in the Studio of his son's home until 1918. In 1918 George Booth built the Meeting House, now Brookside School, and on the first Sunday in January 1919 Henry Booth conducted religious services for "the people of the community who do not regularly go to church."

The simple missionary services continued, but in 1923 George Booth, sensing the need for an orthodox church in the Bloomfield Hills community, wrote to his friend Reverend Samuel S. Marquis, former Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in Detroit, his ideas concerning the establishment of an Episcopal church on the Cranbrook property. In his letter George Booth offered to finance the building of the church and to contribute funds to sustain it.

By early 1924 the plans for Christ Church Cranbrook accelerated. The Bishop's agreement was obtained and the southwest corner of Cranbrook Road and Lone Pine Road was selected as the site. The architectural firm of Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Associates was commissioned, and Oscar H. Murray chief designer and architect, with George Gough Booth, agreed upon a design with a total estimated cost of $550,000.

The construction contract was awarded to Charles R. Wermuth and Sons. Ground breaking took place 5 Jul 1925 and to commemorate the day Reverend Samuel Marquis conducted the first service for the Christ Church Cranbrook Mission at the Meeting House. (Henry Wood Booth, the creator of the tent church, had died 17 Mar 1925).

On 21 Jun 1926, as all the foundations neared completion, the laying of the cornerstone was conducted, and the consecration of Christ Church Cranbrook (29 Sep 1928) by Bishop Herman Page was followed on 30 Sep 1928 by the dedication of the Carillon. The Carillon consisted of 46 bells cast by the Taylor Bell Foundry, Loughborough, England and given to Christ Church Cranbrook by Harold L. Wallace, his wife Grace Booth Wallace and their five children.

As construction of the church continued, George Booth and his family consulted with artisans who provided carved woodwork, stained glass windows, appropriate paintings and sculpture, tapestries and metalwork. From the early tent services of Henry Wood Booth in 1904 Christ Church Cranbrook has firmly established itself on the corner of Lone Pine and Cranbrook Roads.In 1973 the trust agreements that bound Christ Church Cranbrook to the Cranbrook Foundation were dissolved. Despite this sundering, the Cranbrook Archives continues to maintain the church records as they are transferred from the church offices.


16.8 Linear Feet (31 MS, 3 OS, 4 envelopes)

Language of Materials



In 1923, George Gough Booth wrote to the Rev. Samuel Simpson Marquis with his ideas for building an Episcopal church and school on the Cranbrook estate to serve the needs of the growing Bloomfield Hills community. Booth would fund the construction of the church and provide an endowment for its maintenance. After obtaining the agreement of Bishop Herman Page, hiring and architect and a contractor, a groundbreaking ceremony took place on July 5, 1925. Christ Church Cranbrook was consecrated on September 29, 1928 by Bishop Page. The trust agreements that bound Christ Church Cranbrook to the Cranbrook Foundation were dissolved in 1973 and the Church remained independent of the Cranbrook Educational Community. This collection holds records relating to administration and finance; the oversight of building and grounds, including the organ and refurbishment projects; documentation relating to cultural properties, records pertaining to festivals and services honoring graduates and the dead; documents related to the Church's early history; materials documenting inter-institutional relationships and outreach missions. There is an extensive series of records relating to the activities of clergy, lay ministers and volunteers. The publications hold weekly newsletters covering an almost unbroken period from 1928-1967, as well as one-off publications such as the Pilgrims' Guide and the Visitors' Guide. There are also materials documenting social issues with which the Church and its leadership became involved. Realia includes stained glass and a printer's block.


The Christ Church Cranbrook Records are divided into the following twelve series: Administration (boxes 1-3), Building and Grounds (boxes 3-4), Cultural Properties (boxes 5-6), Church Activities and Functions (boxes 6-7), Historical Documents (boxes 7-8), Inter-Institutional Relations (box 8), Missions (boxes 8-9), Personnel (boxes 9-15), Publications (boxes 15-28), Social Issues (boxes 28-30), Realia (boxes 31-32), and Oversized (boxes 33-34).

Some of the series are divided into subseries based on specific content. All arrangements are alphanumeric.

Additional Access

An index to the collection is available.


Transferred to the Archives in various lots, which were unified during processing. The records are a compilation of the records of the office of the Parish Administration, the papers of Max Fruhauf, Ben Snyder, and Jack Kausch, Jervis B. McMechan's “History of the Parish” drafts and manuscripts, and the publications of Christ Church Cranbrook.

Related Materials

Cranbrook Architectural Office Records (1989-01)

Cranbrook School Records (1979-06)

George Gough Booth Papers (1981-01)

Good News (1995-51) [catalogued as a serial publication]

Henry Scripps and Carolyn Farr Booth Papers (1982-05)

Oscar Murray Papers (1996-23)

Samuel S. Marquis Papers (1983-07)

For photographs of Christ Church Cranbrook, see the Cranbrook Archives’ general photograph file index, particularly the Jack Kausch Photograph Collection and the Wermuth Photo Albums.

Plans and drawings of the church can be found in the Architectural Drawing Collection and searchable via the Academy of Art Library catalog.

Additional publications related to Christ Church Cranbrook can be found by searching via the Academy of Art Library catalog.

Records such as the Vestry minutes, church history, baptisms, marriages, etc. can be located in the microfilm collection.


Photographs/Slides: Removed to special photographs collection.

Processing History

Patricia Pykary, 1992. Reprocessed in 2007 by Philip James Deloria.

Guide to the Christ Church Cranbrook Records
Finding aid written by Patricia Pykary.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Resource record created by Laura MacNewman.

Revision Statements

  • 2007: Reprocessed by Philip James Deloria

Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository