Congregation Meets the Challenge after AC to Historic Church Fails (Again)

Christ Church has been blessed with strong attendance in the Auditorium since we lost air conditioning to the historic Church in July. Fortunately, heating was not affected, and service will return to the historic Church when the weather turns reliably cool this fall. By doing without AC for the rest of the summer, we can avoid the cost of temporarily patching our failing cooling system from the 1980’s and focus our resources on the new, efficient heating and cooling system that is being planned now.

As the congregation has been aware for some time, our entire heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system has been a constant source of outages and costly repairs. A special committee of incredibly talented parishioners and other volunteers, under the chairmanship of Barry Stauffer, has been working closely with the Vestry, Foundation Board, and Staff on a plan to replace the aging system. Just before the latest AC failure, the Vestry had authorized expenditures on an engineering study and design process for a modern system. The HVAC committee and design firm are exploring the most economical and environmentally friendly options that will serve Christ Church and our mission for generations to come.

For these reasons, the Vestry concurred in a decision not to search for and acquire the used parts to temporarily fix the old AC chiller. The HVAC replacement will be expensive under any scenario, and the decision to conserve our money for the new system was not a hard one. Plus, we are fortunate that the cooling system for the Auditorium is still working—for now. We hope to present a holistic HVAC design and funding plan for the congregation’s input and consideration by the end of this year.

In the meantime, all of us at Christ Church are deeply grateful for the understanding and flexibility that all have shown in moving services to the Auditorium. We can feel the Holy Spirit at work with such strong attendance on Sundays. And soon, when the chill in the air returns to Northern Virginia, we will return to the historic Church and, perhaps, experience its beauty and sacredness anew.

John Lawson, Senior Warden

Janet Osborn, Junior Warden

For more information about the work of the HVAC committee, visit the website at or contact Barry Stauffer.