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To preserve Robert Carter’s gift of old Christ Church, Lancaster County, Virginia, and its ancient churchyard in its dignity and beauty, to care for its surroundings, and to record and tell its history and that of its people, that this legacy of our common heritage may be a source of learning and inspiration.
Finished in 1735, Christ Church was the most finely crafted Anglican parish church in all of colonial Virginia. The church’s detailed brickwork, particularly the molded-brick doorways, had few rivals. The classical, full entablature was among the most sophisticated produced in the colony. With towering brick walls, vaulted ceilings, and large compass-headed windows, Christ Church cut an imposing figure in a Virginia landscape. On the interior, the superb high-backed pews, triple-decker pulpit, walnut altarpiece, and stone pavers gave the church a character unique among colonial houses of worship.
Since its creation in 1958, the Foundation for Historic Christ Church has overseen preservation of Christ Church and its environs. The Foundation has dedicated itself to maintaining the church as closely as possible to its original condition without comprising the structure's historical integrity. Since its work commenced nearly fifty years ago, the Foundation and its corps of volunteers have worked diligently with architectural historians, skilled preservationists, and other scholars to make Historic Christ Church a living testament to Virginia's rich colonial heritage.
Today, the Foundation campus features tours of the church, a museum, gift shop, conference center, and burying ground and is the site for special events, community gatherings and education programs for all ages.
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