With 2019 marking the 250th anniversary of the church building and the 300th anniversary of the Graveyard, a number of celebrations are planned. Here is what we know now with more information to follow.
Church Building 250
On Sunday June 30th Bishop William (Chip) Stokes will join us for a commemorative service with special music by MadRegalia our preforming artists in residence.
On September 14th there will be a lecture about the history of this remarkable church building from the fundraising to build it to the latest changes in its structure.
The Graveyard celebrations consist of a variety of activities.
One is a series of guided tours of the graveyard. The dates for these are May 4th, August 3rd, and October 5th. These tours look at Notable Figures in the graveyard, Gravestone Artistry, and Special Features of the graveyard.
In addition, Costumed Graveyard Tours will be conducted on May 18th and August 17th. These tours will feature actors portraying some of the individuals interred in the graveyard and telling their stories.
A signature event will take place on June 15th. This event includes multiple tours of the graveyard that will explore a variety of perspectives especially pertinent to a 300-year-old graveyard. This series of tours will be headlined by Dr. Richard Veit, Professor of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University, and leading expert in New Jersey cemeteries. Dr. Veit will place the Christ Church graveyard in context and discuss different stone types and the wide range of gravestone artistry exhibited in the graveyard. Ryan Radice, an expert tour guide, will illuminate some of the notable figures interred in the graveyard. The care of gravemarkers will be explored by several experts in the field who have been active in this graveyard. Lorraine Schnabel, graveyard conservator, will discuss gravemarker condition assessment and the science of specifications for restoration. Stephanie Hoagland of Jablonski Building Conservation will describe the complex work of brown sandstone marker restoration. Peter and Beth Woolley of Peaceable Kingdom will show some of the restoration work that their firm has done. Finally, the team of expert gardeners that tend the Historic Rose Meditation Garden will describe that special feature of the graveyard.
After these informative tours, the visitors will repair to the parish house where there will be light refreshments followed by Dr. Veit’s classic presentation about New Jersey cemeteries.
In October we will hold our second annual “October is Graveyard Month”. In addition to the aforementioned graveyard tour, a gravestone cleaning workshop will be held on October 12th. Then on October 26th there will be a Halloween event with a scavenger hunt and goodies handed out to children.
Finally, there will be some gravestone rubbing events with dates to be determined.
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