While we’re a mixed religion family, it’s rare we attend a place of worship. Recently, my 10-year-old and ventured in to Christ Church, a place where I certainly didn’t think I belonged.
While I was figuring we’d quickly walk through, friends who were with us had other plans. And, so. We attended a brief information session (seated tour) that surprised me. It made me feel welcome in a religious establishment so different from my own. Which, of course, is exactly what our forefathers had planned when they worked to establish religious freedoms.
We sat in the pews and learned of so much more history than I ever would have imagined. We learned that Ben Franklin and family sat a few rows towards the middle, because his family didn’t have the money that others had–and only the wealthy sat up front. We saw General Washington’s very own pew. And Betsy Ross. And William Penn (right up front, of course!) We sat, learned, thought and some of us prayed, in the same place as people we’ve all only learned about in our US history courses.
And the church is gorgeous. Absolutely breathtaking. I looked around in awe of the care and intricate detail put into this building over three hundred years ago.
Founded in 1695, Christ Church of Philadelphia is an active church, offering tours 5 days a week, and church services on Sundays and Wednesdays. Families and groups can visit the church and burial ground to gain a deeper understanding of our early history and the importance of religious freedom. Tours are given throughout the day. You can also visit the Burial Ground and gardens.
Photo credit: JJ Tiziou
© 2014, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.