Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Buildings & Grounds

“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” - Psalm 122:1

Ware Church
In April 1681, the Council and General Court in Williamsburg received a petition for another church in Ware Parish. Evidence in the brick work and careful examination of the poplar beams in the over croft of the church suggest that the building was completed circa 1718. Unique to the church are the north, south and west doorways with their classic brick pediments. Ware is one of the largest colonial churches, measuring 40 by 80 feet. It has the second highest ceiling of the rectangular colonial churches. Unique features include the large compass windows on either side of the Altar with their predominant crosses while five compass windows grace either side of the church. The church’s classic proportions result in wonderful acoustics for singing and speaking. One can discover in the church’s architecture double squares, a golden rectangle, a circle and a pyramid triangle in the church and surrounding wall.

The church walls are solid brick laid in Flemish bond with glazed headers, with most of the light blue glazing having worn away. They are three feet thick above the water table and extend into the ground some six feet where they are five wide at their base. The mortar is a mixture of oyster shell lime, sand, bits of brick, charcoal, oyster shell and horse hair.

In 1854, the old box pews and the double stone aisles were removed and the present pews installed. In 1926-27, extensive renovations were made to the interior with the building receiving electric lights and the present pulpit, dental molding, communion rail, lectern, Altar and the framing of the reredos tablet with its Apostles Creed, Lord’s Prayer and Summary of the Law. The area under the gallery was enclosed to provide Sunday School rooms with the gallery also being available for instruction.

In 1999, a two manual Casavant Freres pipe organ was installed fulfilling the dream of a multifaceted instrument. This seventeen rank organ not only provides rich accompaniment for worship but also is an excellent concert instrument. Recent renovations have included the installation of an updated Sacristy and new frontals and linens for the Altar. The church comfortably accommodates about 180 people. Chapel

The Parish House
The Parish House of colonial design was erected in 1952 and is situated near the church. In 1979, a wing was added resulting in space for the Chapel of the Christ Child (right), a large parish hall and kitchen, five classrooms, parish library, music room, a sacristy and offices for the clergy and parish administrator. The parish hall accommodates about 80 for a meal and can handle about 150 for a reception.  The Chapel has seating for 36 and the library provides meeting space for more than a dozen people. A fenced play area adjoins the building with children’s play equipment.

The Cemetery
The first burial in the cemetery surrounding the colonial church was that of The Reverend James Clack who at the beginning of his ministry had the vision of a new church for Ware Parish. He lived to see its completion and his grave is just east of the center of the east wall of the church. Ware Church is graced with a cemetery of more than a thousand burials or memorials. One can find markers honoring everyday folk, unknown Confederate solders, generals, children, veterans, doctors, the clergy, judges, attorneys and statesmen.

Ware Cottage
In 2000, the Vestry purchased the adjoining property with its two bedroom house. It provides emergency housing and meets special residential needs. The current grounds of Ware Church contain seven outbuildings and some 31 acres of land.

Petsworth Parish Property
The third site of Petsworth Parish is located near Petsworth Elementary School in the northern Gloucester County. 

Public Use
The main campus of Ware Church is available for community use subject to the terms and conditions described in the Property Use Guidelines and the agreements it describes, including a Hold Harmless Agreement, an Alcohol Policy Agreement, an Inflatables (Bounce House) Agreement, and a sample Certificate of Liability Insurance.