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Smithfield’s treasured stained glass windows return home

Church to celebrate preservation

It was always easy to pull to the stop light at the corner of Church and Main streets, staring forward until the light changed. Now, there’s reason to look left and right, toward the large and newly lit stained glass window facing Church Street, home of Christ Episcopal Church.

This larger-than-life “Life of Christ” window faces the afternoon and setting sun, and is now expertly lit for nighttime viewing by pedestrians and drivers alike.

Christ Church has just completed the first phase of a three-year project that involved extensive shoring up the crumbling west wall holding the large, recently restored, stained glass masterpiece and the professional cleaning of several Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows.

Church officials invited The Rt. Rev. Susan B. Haynes, recently ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, to the service Sunday, Sept. 20, to dedicate the structure and the windows. Organist Heidi Bloch and professional baritone, Christopher Mooney, will provide music for this service, including Confirmation and Communion, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Because seating is limited, reservations are urged and can be made by calling the church office at 757-375-2826.

The church is especially grateful for Susan Cooper’s leadership as chair of the preservation team, and to Bill Egan, project engineer, whose personal dedication, time and professional expertise directed the preservation of Smithfield’s historic church structure.

This project was funded in part by a grant from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.