Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis)

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Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral in 2010
Location United States Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Denomination Episcopal
Architect(s) William Tinsley
Style Early Gothic Revival
Diocese Indianapolis

Bishop-The Rt. Rev. Catherine Maples Waynick;

Dean- The Very Rev. Stephen E. Carlsen
Christ Church Cathedral
Coordinates 39°46′9″N 86°9′27″W / 39.76917°N 86.15750°W / 39.76917; -86.15750Coordinates: 39°46′9″N 86°9′27″W / 39.76917°N 86.15750°W / 39.76917; -86.15750
Area 0.3 acres (0.12 ha)
Built 1857
Architect William Tinsley; Multiple
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 73000035[1]
Added to NRHP July 10, 1973
Looking east down the nave toward the altar

Christ Church Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis. Christ Church Cathedral is the oldest religious building in continuous use in Indianapolis.


Christ Church was founded in 1837. The present building was constructed in 1857 at 131 Monument Circle and is the oldest building on Monument Circle.[2] It became the cathedral for the Diocese of Indianapolis in 1954. It is known for its Choir of Men and Boys and Girls' Choir, and for its pipe organs, one of which was donated by Ruth Lilly. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The Cathedral also is a charter member of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church.

Mission and music[edit]

Christ Church Cathedral (CCC) is located on Monument Circle at the center of Indianapolis and is the oldest building on the Circle.

Christ Church Cathedral has hosted the Strawberry Festival every summer since 1965, raising money to give away through grants to local, national and international charities. The Festival was featured on the Food Network in 2007.

CCC is known for its charity work and music. The Cathedral hosts mission trips to Ecuador on an annual basis, as well as trips to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, trips to Navajoland, and various other mission trips. Parishioners also serve locally at non-profits like Dayspring, Damien Center, Second Helpings and many others.

Being downtown, the Cathedral has served the city in a spiritual capacity, for example, holding a special service after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and hosting a memorial service for the homeless persons who have died annually with the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP).

The Cathedral is home to the professional Choir of Men and Boys and the Girls' Choir. Each Sunday, the Girls' Choir leads the 9:00 am service and the Men & Boys Choir leads the 11:00 am service.

From September through May the Cathedral offers Choral Evensong sung by the Choir of Men and Boys every Thursday. Evensong is sung by the Girls' Choir on the first Wednesday of every month.

The Choir of Men and Boys was founded in 1883, when it was first decided to put a boys' choir into training. It was not until 1954, however, when Christ Church became the Cathedral of the diocese, that the choir was organized into a professional choral body. The Choir of Men & Boys has achieved an international reputation for choral excellence. In addition to performing with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Men and Boys have sung numerous commissioned works and have frequently appeared on radio and television broadcasts. The Choir has toured Great Britain and Europe, singing in London (St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey), Canterbury, Ely, Truro, Dublin (Christ Church Cathedral), Paris (Notre Dame), and in the cities of Chartres, Munich, Berlin, Leipzig, Venice (St. Mark's), and Rome (St. Peter's Basilica).

The Cathedral Girls' Choir was founded in 1945. The Girl's Choir is made up of girls ages 8 through 18. The Girl's Choir has appeared in concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared on overseas tours as well, appearing in many of the great cathedrals of Europe.

The Christ Church Singers, the cathedral's voluntary choir, were formed in the 1990s. This choir has been directed by the Assistant Organist & Choirmaster and appears regularly at the 9:00 a.m. Sunday liturgy.

The Chancel organ was built in 1989 by Hellmuth Wolff. The Gallery organ was built in 1991 by Taylor & Boody Organbuilders, Inc. of Staunton, Virginia and is a gift of Ruth Lilly. The continuo organ was built in 1996 by John Brombaugh.

Choirmasters include: Cheston L. Heath (1926–1947), Robert Hobbs (1947–1964), James Litton (1964–1967), David Koehring (1967–1977), Frederick Burgomaster (1977–2009), and Dana Marsh (2010–2014).


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Caldwell, Howard; Jones, Darryl (1990). Goodall, Kenneth, ed. Indianapolis. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 51. ISBN 0-253-32998-1. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 

External links[edit]