In 2002 St Matthews Church, Florence, Ontario joined with the Anglican congregations of:
St John's-in-the-Woods, Aughrim
Christ Church, Dresden, Ontario
Church of the Redeemer, Highgate
Church of the Advent, Ridgetown
St Stephen's, Thamesville, Ontario
to form the Parish of the Transfiguration.
Before that the 6 churches were organized into 3 parishes.
Aughrim and Florence are in the County of Lambton with the others in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
The parish is a member of the Kent Deanery in the Diocese of Huron.
Rev. Stephen Demitroff
Rector, based in Ridgetown.
Rev. Michelle Collins-Wongkee, Associate
St. Matthew's was the first church in the village of Florence, Ontario, begun as a mission then more solidly established in 1843.
It survived the five churches to come and stands again as the only church in town.
Weekly attendance is approximately 30.
Lay participation includes visitation, organization, readings, music and the leading of Morning Prayer.
Outreach includes canned food drives, collection for SCAW, donations to relief organizations and specific disaster relief and participation in KAIRO.
The lovely brick church building is well cared for.
It was re-pointed and restored in 2000 (a major undertaking) and the inside refurbished, including new pews and restoration of the wide plank floor in 1999.
The parish hall built in 1994 to replace a beyond-redemption predecessor, is a modern and attractive facility, open for the use of community groups and families.
Movie nights, book club meetings, Ukrainian Little Christmas, anniversaries, music evening and dinner theatre as well as the usual church group meetings have taken place within its walls.
Both the history of the village and the beauty and setting of the church brings us visitors to Sunday services and many inquiries.
The church is illuminated by spotlight every night and a landmark of the area.
Sunday worship is the Eucharist alternating with Morning Prayer.
The Book of Alternative Services is used and the hymnody is from the new blue Common Praise.
The Village of Florence in Dawn-Euphemia Township of Lambton County, Ontario is small with a population of 200 and quiet, but rich in history and not without present day charms and amenities.
An hour in any direction will take a resident to the major centres of Chatham (the village is, in fact on the Chatham-Kent border), Sarnia, London and just two to three hours will have that resident at Detroit or Toronto's International Airports.
The community first named Zone Mills in the early 1800's was founded around those mills on the Sydenham River.
The river today is given mostly to leisure (archaeologist digs, environmental studies and farm use being its contemporary gainful employment) as well as serving local anglers, power boaters and kayakers/canoeists.
The streets of town are tree-lined and the architecture ranges from Victorian to modern. All is kept neat and tidy by fastidious homeowners and a caring township.
Within the village itself are active groups, an Optimist Club that sponsors plays, exercise groups, wine-tastings, a Christmas hayride, children's activities of all types and family fun.
An Oddfellow's Lodge provides medical equipment, school programs and community fellowship.
An Antique Club puts on an annual 'Power Days' weekend and a Beavers/Cub Scouts group is run by dedicated volunteers.
The library recently expanded and is continually updated. Two restaurants, a grocery store, gas station, hardware store, insurance office, hairdresser/barbershop and antique store complete the business area.