Christ Church was established on 15 November, 1695, and for 66 years was the only Church of England parish in the city of Philadelphia. The present building was started in 1727 and completed in 1744. The tower and steeple, financed in part by lotteries managed by Benjamin Franklin was completed in 1754. The building is an outstanding example of colonial architecture in the Georgian spirit.
Christ Church was intimately associated with the men and events that brought forth our nation, and because of this it is often called 'The Nation's Church'. In this sanctuary worshipped such persons as John Penn, George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, Francis Hopkinson, Dr Thomas Bond and Tench Coxe.
The baptismal font in the back of the church was sent to Philadelphia in 1697 from All Hallow's Church Barking-by-the-Tower, London. It is the font in which William Penn was baptized. The Holy Communion is celebrated each Sunday on a table given by noted Philadelphia craftsman, Jonathan Gostelowe, in 1788.
Buried in the chancel of Christ Church is the Right Reverend William White, Rector of the parish for 57 years, Chaplain of the Continental Congress and first Bishop of Pennsylvania. Following the American Revolution, Bishop White was instrumental in reorganizing and revitalizing the shattered Church of England into the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. The Constitutional Convention of the Episcopal Church was held in this building in 1789.
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