Memorial Tablets


5.22.18 - Following a report from the Relocation Committee, the Vestry has voted on a new location for the memorial tablets. 

Dear friends,

Earlier tonight, the Christ Church Vestry voted to relocate the marble memorial tablets to a new location inside the west entrance to the Parish House, which leads to the Gift Shop, beginning in the summer of 2018. This setting will be part of an expanded exhibit telling the story of our church, its congregation, its builders, and its role in America’s history. Two other parish committees will write the parish history and design the overall display, which will be part of a campus-wide approach to making the Christ Church story available to many more parishioners and visitors.  

The west entrance site was proposed by the Relocation Committee after five months in discernment, conversations with parishioners, and thoughtful study of the church facilities. 

The Vestry provided the committee with specific criteria for a new location for the memorial tablets. They had to be in a prominent, respectful location on our campus. The tablets had to be easily accessible to members of the public, tourists, and parishioners. They had to be outside our worship space. They had to be in a secure location. And there had to be adequate room to provide additional context and, ideally, room to develop additional historical displays.

The new location meets all these requirements. There will need to be significant preparation at the new site before the tablets can be relocated. To create a larger, more dignified space for the tablets, the closet that now holds Gift Shop items and the old wheelchair lift, which was replaced by the ramp to the Meade Room, will both be removed. The current history display will be reworked to become part of the larger project. The memorial tablets will remain in place in the church until the new space is reconfigured and ready for their installation.

Work to prepare the west entrance site will begin this summer, under the careful direction of Rugo Stone, LLC, of Lorton, Virginia. Rugo was recommended to the Vestry by the National Cathedral and has extensive experience with challenging stonework and historic buildings.  We invite you to learn more about Rugo here

When the tablets are relocated, the front wall of the historic church will be repaired and then it will be painted for the first time since 1988. No other historical markers will be moved from the worship space. The pew markers for Washington, Lee, and the Stranger’s Pew will remain. The Washington bronze funeral memorial will remain on the outside wall of the church near the doors. The Lee confirmation marker will remain on the communion rail. And, of course, the Washington Pew will remain with its silver markers noting the January 1, 1942 visit by President Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.

The cost to remove the tablets from the church, install them in the new location, and repair the front of the church is estimated to be $17,165. An anonymous parishioner has donated $20,000 to cover the cost of removal and reinstallation of the tablets, replastering and painting the front wall of the church, and part of the cost of the wheelchair lift removal. Tonight, the Vestry approved a resolution to authorize up to $30,000 (which includes the $20,000 already promised) for the estimated cost of the full relocation. This additional $10,000 will cover the rest of the cost of the removal of the lift and repair of the west entrance exterior wall. Operating budget, loose plate, Christ Church Foundation, and annual pledge campaign funds will not be used for this work. 

Our thanks to Melinda Hudson and John Douglass for their leadership of this committee and their guidance of this process. We are thankful for the faithful service of committee members Virginia Amos, Cindi Bartol, Charlie Chadbourn, Carol Donlan, Dorothy Friedlander, Susan Hahn, Jack Hutcheson, Barry Stauffer, Elizabeth Trigg, and Starlet Zarek. A copy of the committee’s final report can be accessed here.

The History Committee and Historical Display Committee are early in their work of exploring our history and expanding our story. We thank Andy Hoefer and Harley Thronson (History), and Janet Osborn (Historical Display) for their leadership. Please reach out to them with questions and ideas.

We thank you for your prayers for the committee and for our parish throughout this discernment process and hope you will join us in continuing to pray for our parish and the world.

O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


In Christ,


The Rev. Dr. Noelle York-Simmons



Emily Bryan

Senior Warden


Dave Riggs

Junior Warden



A Pastoral Letter from the Rev. Dr. Noelle York-Simmons from October 31, 2017, can be found here.

A Statement from the Rev. Dr. Noelle York-Simmons, Rector of Christ Church, given to the Press on Tuesday, October 31 may be found here

A statement from the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia may be found here.

A statement from Emily Bryan, Senior Warden of Christ Church, given at Sunday Services on Sunday, October 29 may be found here.