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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Christ Church, Philadelphia

Christ Church, steeple

The photo above shows the steeple of Christ Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, arguably the most important church in the history of the US. The congregation, originally part of the Anglican Church, which became a congregation in 1695, built their first building on this site in 1696. From 1727-1744, a new building, the one shown, was constructed around the first one. The steeple you see contains building materials from the first church, which was torn down when it was possible to use the larger building for worship.

Fifteen signers of the Declaration of Independence attended this church, including Benjamin Franklin. Betsy Ross and George Washington also attended the church. There is a chandelier hanging from the ceiling of the church, with candles. We were told, when we visited the place, that the chandelier was lit for the wedding of Sarah Franklin, Benjamin Franklin's daughter, and that it was lit in May, 2009, for a current wedding. An active congregation meets in the building.

In 1785, the Episcopal church began in this building. We were told that the first African-American pastor of a major denomination was ordained to the ministry in this church.

The beautiful object above is the baptismal font of Christ Church. (You can see the rope, to keep tourists from touching it, in the foreground.) We were told that it is about 600 years old, and was sent from England in the early years of the church, for "as long as needed," when the church was still an Anglican one. William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was baptized in the font as a baby, in England. (Penn was not an Episcopalian in later life, but a Quaker. He was born in 1644.)

We enjoyed our travel to, and in, the Philadelphia area last month.


Keetha Broyles said...

Beautiful, peaceful, worshipful.

Thanks for sharing.

Keetha Broyles said...

I'm positive that Aunt Lois' frugality has EVERYTHING to do with saving money, and if there happen to be any environmental benefits that's merely coincidental.

Martin LaBar said...

People didn't think much about the environment then.

Thanks, Keetha.

Julana said...

It's amazing that we can still go see these things. Wish it wasn't so far.

Martin LaBar said...

There's a lot to see in Philadelphia, and nearby.