Our church building
On February 23, 1894, the vestry of the new parish voted to use the plans for the church made by local architect T. J. Collins. The Gothic Revival brick structure was built in 1896, with a simple interior, a center aisle on a north-south axis, and lights fitted for both electricity and gas. The construction contract was for $10,082.
In response to changing liturgical practices, the church was remodeled in 1903-1904 to provide for a high Victorian-Gothic chancel with a richly decorated vaulted ceiling. This drastic renovation effected an east-west axis for the center aisle, an extension of the west wall to allow a polychrome chancel, and enlarged seating for the choir. The marble altar, with a depiction of the Last Supper, was given in 1911 in memory of a Stuart Hall girl who died earlier that year at the school. The reredos was added in 1916. The parish house wing was built in 1930 in a Tudor Revival variation of the Gothic style. The pipe organ was installed in 1942 and rebuilt in 1992. The stained glass windows were cleaned and repaired in 1993. Later in the decade, the electrical system was updated and the nave was restored with new plaster, decorative painting, and carpeting. More recently, an elevator was installed to make the sanctuary accessible to all. In the summer of 2008, the "Emmanuel" stained glass window behind the altar, and the "Angel" stained glass window on the north side of the church, were carefully removed, cleaned, and fully restored to their original beauty. In the spring of 2009, the old slate roof was replaced with copper sheeting that will preserve the structure against water damage for several decades to come. Our latest major improvements have been the restoration of the stained glass window on the east side in March 2012, a major upgrading of the electrical system in late 2014, and the installation of a new furnace in October 2015.
Altar and Holy Table
After making do with a "temporary" altar table for over 35 years, the members of Emmanuel were pleased to see a beautiful new altar on the first Sunday after Easter in 2015. Bishop Heath Light paid a visit on April 19 to say a blessing for the new altar, and several previous rectors attended this special service as well, with a reception afterwards. Our own Doug Roller designed the altar, which was dedicated to the memory of the late Brooke Dickerman, a member of Emmanuel for many years. Her two children said a few words during the service. On the rear side of the altar are inscribed the words:
"In loving memory of our mother, Brooke Benton Dickerman, from Ann and Will. April 2015."
The Memorial Garden at Emmanuel (often called the "Columbarium") provides a quiet outdoor place for prayer and reflection. It features a three-cornered stone path in the center, with a variety of flowers and herbs around the circumference.
Our parish banner
The Emmanuel Staunton banner was displayed for the first time at the consecration service for Bishop Mark Bourlakas in Roanoke, in July 2013. The cross design replicates the crosses that adorn the sanctuary of our church. Below the cross are representations of Betsy Bell and Mary Gray hills, the defining geographical feature of the city of Staunton, as well as a number of the wildflowers native to our area.