Christ & St. Luke’s Episcopal Church houses a body of Christians documented as the continuing congregation of the Elizabeth River Parish established in the late 1630s by English people in the area now known as Norfolk. Our Church banner is dated 1637.
The location of the first two Borough Churches isn’t known, but the 1739 building at the corner of St. Paul’s and City Hall Avenues was abandoned in 1800 when the congregation moved across the street to their new building. When it was destroyed by fire in 1826, Christ Church then moved to a building on Freemason Street. From this background, a second parish was formed in 1832 and the Vestry of Christ Church authorized them to refurbish the old Borough Church and it was named “Saint Paul’s.” This parish continues in operation today.
In 1872 a third parish, Saint Luke’s was created. As Norfolk grew, other Episcopal parishes were formed. In 1909 Christ Church decided to move to the new suburb of Ghent and laid dual cornerstones for the current building on October 28, 1909, the feast of St. Simon & St. Jude. The cornerstones honor the history of the church. The one on the left was for the 1909 church while the one on the right had served as the cornerstone in the 1800 and 1827 churches. Opening services were held on Christmas Day, 1910.
The beautiful church is in the Early English Perpendicular Gothic style and is on the National Historic Register. The bell tower houses the oldest bell in Norfolk and can be seen from all across Ghent and across the water in Portsmouth.