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Choir of Christ and St. Luke’s Church, Norfolk

The product of a merger of two historic parishes, Christ and Saint Luke’s Church is descended directly from the Congregation of Christians of South Hampton Roads, which was organized in 1637. The present church structure, in the historic Ghent neighborhood of downtown Norfolk, is the fourth building in the congregation’s long and illustrious history. Christ and Saint Luke’s Church was ­designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm of Watson and Huckel. An outstanding ­example of 20th century Gothic Revival design, it was listed as an Historic Virginia Landmark in 1966. The first service in the new sanctuary was held on Christmas Day 1910. The nave is 150 feet long and 55 feet high, with seating for about 800 persons. Indiana limestone lines the interior and provides trim for the exterior. A 130 foot bell tower rises from the southwest corner of the long narrow building, which has a traditional gable roof. The old 1,218 pound G tone bell was moved from the third church building to this location and hangs in the tower. Ample stone carving and other ­stylistically appropriate ornamentation adorn the exterior of the building. The nave and the adjacent chapel are graced with magnificent stone and wood carvings, of which the Newton Memorial reredos ­behind the main altar is an especially ­distinguished example. It is executed from stone brought from Caen, France. Exceptional stained glass windows of ­period design are set throughout. Executed by the firm of Franz Mayer of Munich, Germany, they are considered the finest windows that the highly esteemed firm ever installed in America. The upper windows ­located in the clerestory are ­patterned after those in the Cathedral in Cologne, Germany. The lower windows tell the story of Jesus from the Annunciation through the Ascension. The great west window depicts scenes from the Old Testament. The church’s magnificent pipe organ of three manuals and 78 ranks was built by Casavant Freres in 1962 and underwent a major ­renovation by Orgues Létourneau in 1996.