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“Should be required participation for everyone!”

St. John's Episcopal Church
Book In Advance
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US$120.00*
and up
Richmond's History and Food of Shockoe Bottom and Church Hill
Ranked #12 of 168 things to do in Richmond
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Northern Virginia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Should be required participation for everyone!”
Reviewed 3 September 2013

St. John's Episcopal Church is one of the oldest continuously worshiping bodies in the US. This is NOT why you should visit this church.

This historic building has been lovingly restored/preserved and is staffed by amazing volunteers who will explain everything from the graves to the stained glass window that looks like a giant $ (dollar sign). This is NOT why you should visit this church.

The program begins with a performance on the historic organ and a patriotic sing-along (words provided). This is Not why you should visit this church.

This congregation has adopted the mission of preserving and presenting history. This is the actual building where the disbanded members of the Virginia Delegates met in 1775 and Patrick Henry declared "Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!"

This congregation supports a troupe of very talented professional actors to portray the rogue representatives. Every Sunday, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, and on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the original speech, and on Veterans Day weekend, a re-enactment of the session occurs, on the very place where that ringing phrase passed into our patriotic lexicon.

The actors are first-rate. They begin in their original seats, interspersed with the spectators, who are invited to participate with a hearty "Here, here, Colonel Washington!" of "Nay, sir -'tis folly!"

Visitors can greet the actors afterward in the graveyard. Actors generally remain in character for the meet and greet.

You should visit because it's an incredibly moving experience, with passion practically bouncing of the walls. I take my class of adult ESOL learners and their families every August and many of my students are in tears by the time it's over. Many of them know revolution and civil war first hand and they truly understand the meaning of this recreated experience.

The church's website provides access to the SOL activities supported by this event, for those of you with kids in Virginia public schools.

Groups of 10+ may purchase reserved seats in advance for $5 each. Otherwise, it's FREE! (First come, first served.) Come early - we always get there an hour early.

Visited August 2013
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Thank LovesHippos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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281 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
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English first
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
113 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Must See for History Lovers”
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Love the re-enactment of Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty or Give Me Death." The actors were all great . They have a special place where it says reserved. It is a free event and need to give donations on whatever amount you feel to give. Its worth visiting.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank clover74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Riveting”
Reviewed 18 August 2013

This has seen so much history in our nations founding. It's home to Patrick Henry's Give me liberty or give me death speech. Go when they do reenactments if you can...chills!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank fanSXM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
60 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Interesting place to visit”
Reviewed 15 August 2013

This was an interesting experience...give me liberty or death. The walk was great from my hotel. The cemetary outside the church is unique, at least from what I've seen before. Hard to read some of the stones, but what can you expect from 1600s.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Rita W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“If you like American history, this is a must see”
Reviewed 10 August 2013 via mobile

We want on Sunday and watched the reenactment of the convention. Most of the actors did a great job. It was interesting to see the different points of view from the different leaders of the day. I really enjoyed the patriotic organ music as well. George wythe and Edgar Allan Poe's mom are buried here.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Woodhink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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