This year marks exactly two centuries since construction was completed on the Grace United Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Since the church’s opening, parishioners have been gathering in its pews for generations.
The church has begun celebrating already, hosting its annual festival market on Saturday, prior to the 200th-anniversary celebration of Grace United’s arrival.
This year’s festival market featured some special anniversary additions.
“We were gifted some Saskatoon berries,” said Pauline Miller, chair of the church council.
“For our anniversary jam, a Saskatoon Berry jam was developed.”
The special anniversary jam was sold alongside other popular town favourites, including the quickly sold-out Colonial Sauce.
While Nov. 19 is the actual date of Grace United’s anniversary, the church has instead arranged for a special event to happen on Sunday the 24.
“The moderator of the United Church of Canada (Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne) – sort of like our Pope – is coming to give a sermon,” Miller said.
She added that on the actual anniversary, the previous leader of the church will also be presenting a sermon.
“We’ve extended to the various United churches in the Niagara region to send somebody because obviously, we can’t hold more than 100 people,” she said.
Miller is hopeful for a good turnout, especially after reaching out to other congregations in Niagara.
“I think we’re all, not even just the United Church, I think all the (NOTL) churches are dealing with dwindling congregations. So it’s nice to reach out and be a bit more community-spirited,” she said.