Christ Church Philadelphia is older than the United States and today occupies a place within Independence National Historical Park along with Independence Hall, the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and signed. This Conversation will explore the story of Christ Church and its links with so many founders of the United States. We’ll learn how in so many different ways it is almost undoubtedly the single most historic religious congregation in the country.
Christ Church is one of the most visited sites in Independence National Historical Park, alongside Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, but few people know the real depth of its history. The building itself is unique and historic, but it also played host to some of the most famous names of the American Revolution. In addition to its role in the social lives of so many of the founders, Christ Church has unique connections to American architectural history, religious history, and Black history.
Christ Church was founded in 1695 as the first Anglican Church in the colony of Pennsylvania. The presence of the Anglican Church in Pennsylvania was a bit odd because Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers who had been persecuted for not supporting the Anglican Church. Nonetheless, Christ Church in Philadelphia was connected with many of Pennsylvania’s leading citizens right from its founding. It really found its voice during the American Revolution, however, when despite being a leading outpost of the Church of England, its leaders decided to support independence. This Conversation is a survey of that story, including explanations of the many ways that Christ Church is uniquely historic.
Led by John Bright, a historian for seven years at the Christ Church Preservation Trust, this interactive seminar will introduce participants to the intriguing history of Christ Church. Designed to educate as well as inform future travels, participants will emerge with a greater understanding of this important church.
About Your Expert
John Bright is a public historian who has worked for seven years at one of the most historic churches in the United States, which is part of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. He has spoken to tens of thousands of people about the intersection of American religious and political history and has experience addressing the thorny questions that arise in such a contested space. He has done doctoral work at Temple University in Philadelphia and General Theological Seminary in New York.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.
Excellent presentation. I live in Philadelphia area, have attended services at Christ Church, Booking other seminars given by John Bright.