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Since its creation in 1958, the Foundation for Historic Christ Church (FHCC) has overseen preservation of Christ Church and its surrounding environs. Building on preservation initiatives supported by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities and other groups in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Foundation 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.
Skilled preservationists repointing brickwork on
the southwest wall
The Foundation's efforts have not gone unnoticed. In May 1961, Historic Christ Church was designated a National Historic Landmark. Five years later, the National Register of Historic Places added Christ Church to its rolls, and in 1969, the church was named to the Virginia Landmarks Registry. In 1971, Mrs. Richard M. Nixon presented the Foundation with an award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for excellence in historic preservation. The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities recognized the Foundation in May 1975 with its coveted Mary Mason Anderson Williams Award for outstanding work in historic preservation.
The Foundation for Historic Christ Church, however, is involved in more than just preservation work or architectural and archaeological research. It also seeks to interpret and present to the public the history of this great church. A new museum on site (completely renovated in 2009) contains exhibitions on the building, the Carter family, the parish community, the Church of England, and the history of the church's preservation. Each spring, summer, and fall knowledgeable docents offer informative tours of the church. Since the early 1990s, members of the Foundation's research program have been pouring through local records to document the lives of those people who formed the parish community in the early eighteenth century. At the same time, volunteers working to compile names of Carter descendants are revising and expanding extensive databases on the prolific family.
Just as importantly, the Foundation also prides itself on being a leader in educational and community outreach programs. Each year it sponsors a range of community events, including a public lecture series and "Second Saturday" Family Fun Days. In addition, hundreds of local students visit Historic Christ Church annually, making it a valuable complement to their classroom study of Virginia history.
Education programs reach
out to local students
|In essence, the Foundation for Historic Christ Church is a dynamic organization committed to preserving, researching and interpreting Christ Church, the most inspiring of colonial Virginia's Anglican parish churches.|