Christchurch Parish Church, Cambridgeshire

Christchurch Parish Church, Cambridgeshire


 
Christchurch Parish Church
From the "Wisbech Standard" Jan. 1995 at the time of repairs to the Church: The Church was built in 1863. The village was named after the church because of the two large oil paintings hanging in the nave. One depicts Christ crowned with thorns and the other his descent from the cross. Both were brought from Italy by the churchís architect, Sir Roger Pratt. Until the turn of the century, the village name was still spelt "Christ Church". The red brick building used to have a tower on itís northern side until 1883 when it was demolished because of insecure foundations only 21 years after it was built. There is now only a small bell-tower perched on the roof. After changing itís name, Christchurch broke away from Upwell and became itís own ecclesiastical district in 1866. From the "Wisbech Standard" Jan. 1995 at the time of repairs to the Church: The Church was built in 1863. The village was named after the church because of the two large oil paintings hanging in the nave. One depicts Christ crowned with thorns and the other his descent from the cross. Both were brought from Italy by the churchís architect, Sir Roger Pratt. Until the turn of the century, the village name was still spelt "Christ Church". The red brick building used to have a tower on itís northern side until 1883 when it was demolished because of insecure foundations only 21 years after it was built. There is now only a small bell-tower perched on the roof. After changing itís name, Christchurch broke away from Upwell and became itís own ecclesiastical district in 1866. From the "Cambridge Independent Press" - 21 October 1865: "On Tuesday, the consecration of the parish church of Christchurch took place, the ceremony being performed by the Bishop of Norwich. A sermon was preached..."If I send pestilence among my people..." and was a very impressive one, and was lengthy, extending to an hour and five minutes. A collection was made on behalf of the organ fund. There was a luncheon afterwards in the Wisbech tent and the proceedings concluded by planting a tree in an open space in the village in commemoration of the event. The weather was unfavourable and had doubtless the effect of precluding many from attending." This is the church I was married in over 40 years ago, and where quite a few members of the CAWTHORN family have also been married and buried - but not baptised - that was done at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in the village. I haven't been able to find out if a record of the Memorial Inscriptions in the churchyard has been made, or whether a map exists of all the graves - but recording needs to be done - and soon - before any more headstones lose their inscriptions due to the ravages of time - and lichen! The Rev. Henry Sayers, father of the novelist, Dorothy L. Sayers, was Rector of Christchurch, from 1917 to 1928. He buried my father's baby sister, Joan, in 1928 when she was only 1 year and 8 months old. Both he and his wife were buried in unmarked graves at Christchurch on the insistence of their famous daughter - but they have recently had a marker stone placed over them as result of a one-off Dorothy L. Sayers Festival to help raise funds for the church roof! Rev. Sayers was buried at Christchurch on 25 Sept. 1928, aged 74, and Mrs Helen Mary Sayers was buried on 31 July 1929, aged 73. (Source: Entries 633 & 641 in Christchurch Register of Burials deposited at the County Record Offfice, Cambridge) Dorothy's novel "The Nine Tailors" is based upon the area around Christchurch and Upwell; she used to be talked of quite often by the old folk in the village, particularly those that worked up at the Rectory! Churches & Chapels Index Christchurch History Notes Home Page & Site Index Contact Details if you think you have any information that will help me with my research and these webpages
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This page created 23 June 2004 & amended/updated 12:25 17/02/2019