Christ Church Episcopal Downtown Reopens After Renovations

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Peyton Gillespie, Staff Writer

After many months of hard work, restoration, and lots of anticipation, the Christ Church Episcopal Church downtown has been opened for service. The church restoration began in September of 2016. The purpose of restoration was to update the historic church and keep it as authentic as the original. The church has made many changes since September 2016; there have been renovations to the basement level of the church so that people could have separate rooms for choir rehearsal and acolyte preparations, as well as safety additions. There were also new lighting systems put into place so that the church would be brighter for the congregation. To ensure that the church and the people in the church stay safe, a sprinkler system put into the ceiling to help in case of a fire. With the new roof and the cleaned stained glass, Christ Church Episcopal Church held their first service in the renovated church during the Christmas of 2017.

The congregation of Christ Church have been able to enjoy the updated church with original stained glass and original church pews still in place. The Church rang in the new year with bells and special services on January 1st for the new year.  January 1st was not the only day the church bells rang out for the whole city of Greenville to hear, but on January 28th Christ Church Episcopal church celebrated Episcopal Sunday Church. The service was to celebrate the importance of Episcopal education in the church and at Christ Church Episcopal School. Mrs. Valerie Riddle, Chaplain of the Lower School, highlighted that “Father McLeod’s messaged highlighted so many reasons that Episcopal education is so wonderful and helped the congregation realize how blessed we all our to be a part of such a wonderful thing. Then, as people came forward for communion or a blessing, I almost got teary with the light streaming in, the music, the beautiful church and all the familiar faces. It truly will be one of my highlights of years at CCES.” The Episcopal Sunday service was composed of many parents, teachers, and students. The acolytes serving during the service ranged from lower school students to upper school students. Mrs. Valerie of the Lower school enjoyed the service very much saying, “Having CCES acolytes from all divisions was like having family together. I loved how the older students helped the younger ones and were so patient, thoughtful and kind.” It was a very special service to have students from all three divisions of CCES serving in the service on Sunday. Peyton Gillespie, who was one of the acolytes in the service Sunday said, “It was a very beautiful service to see the whole Christ Church community come out to Episcopal Sunday and worship together, it was unlike any other church service”. Mrs.Valerie also states that “As people came forward for communion or a blessing, I almost got teary with the light streaming in through the stained glass window, the music, the beautiful church and all the familiar faces. It truly will be one of my highlights of the year.” With the updated church, the old original pews and stained glass windows, Sunday church services at the downtown Christ Church is one to experience.