Where Colonial America made its break with the Church of England
A wonderful example of Georgian Colonial architecture, Christ Church is bordered by a tree-lined brick path, small park and a cobblestone alley, which provide the perfect setting for this historic treasure. The tower and steeple made it the tallest building in America until 1856.
The pulpit was crafted in 1769 by John Folwell, who also made the Rising Sun Chair in Independence Hall. The 600-year-old baptismal font arrived in 1697 from England, where it had been used to baptize William Penn. William White, ninth rector of Christ Church, chaplain of the Continental Congress and first Bishop of Pennsylvania of the newly formed Episcopal Church, is buried in the chancel.
The parish was founded in 1695; this building was constructed between 1727 and 1744. Benjamin Franklin raised money for the tower and steeple, added in 1754. By 1758, the parish had grown so large that St. Peters was established at 3rd and Pine Streets for members who lived in Society Hill. When National Days of Prayer were declared, President Washington and the legislative bodies attended Christ Church en masse.
Guides give talks throughout
Sundays, 9 and 11;
Wednesday communion, 12 noon
The original eight bells, which proclaimed independence from England in 1776, are still rung once a week.
See if you can find the pews of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross.
In the neighborhood
400 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Holiday Inn Express
- Best Western Independence Park Hotel
- Hilton Philadelphia
at Penn’s Landing
- Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
- Omni at Independence Park
- Penn’s View Hotel
- Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel
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Museums & Attractions
Columbus Blvd. & Race Street Philadelphia, PA
- Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
- Declaration (Graff) House
- Dream Garden
- Arch Street Friends Meeting House
- The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation
- Bside Lounge
- The Bishop White House
- The Bourse
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining