Christ Church, Wimbledon (Anglican)

History

The church was built over two years, designed by Samuel Teulon and opening in August 1859. The church hall was opened in 1936 and the current organ was bought in 1954 (but contains the pipes of the original). The church gained parochial status in 1961.

Appearance

The interior of the church has whitewashed walls, sandstone pillars separating the aisles from the nave, and a pastel-red ceiling. The cushioned pews face towards the stained-glass window at the front, beneath which is the high altar, decorated with a Chi-Ro and with a cross and flowers on top.

There is a choir stall on each side of the sanctuary, and at the front of the nave is the main altar, with a pulpit and lectern on either side of it. Altar, lectern and pulpit all had red decorative drapes over them.

At the front left of the church is a smaller altar, and at the front right the area into which the junior church went during the service. The font is in the aisle to the left of the nave, and a small crèche-like area is at the back.

Clergy

The service was led by a vicar in a white cassock with a red stole, who was helped by four altar-servers in white cassocks. There was also a choir of eight or so.

Congregation

The congregation numbered roughly ninety, although that number was probably somewhat more than usual due to there being a christening. There was a wide range of ages, with a lot of children and younger adults. There were a few from an ethnic minority, and the gender balance was about equal.

Service

The service I attended was the 10:00 am Parish Eucharist, the main Sunday service. After notices and a welcome, the service opened with a hymn. We followed an order of service which was handed to us along with a hymn book and a notice sheet. The first half of the service revolved around the christening that was taking place that morning.

Before the christening came hymns, prayers, and the readings: Ephesians 1:15-23 and Matthew 25:31-46. After these came the sermon, which reflected on the similarities and differences between the Baptism of Christ and the baptism about to take place, and spoke about entering into a life in the church. The christening itself followed the standard Anglican formula, with the young child being baptised in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by having water splashed onto his head from the font after his parents and godparents made promises to commit him and themselves to Christ.

After the christening, the second half of the service revolved around communion. This took place after more hymns (during one of which the offering was taken) and prayers (including a modernised version of the Lord’s Prayer). Communion itself was taken with stewards going to each pew in turn and inviting those there to go up to the front, where they received the bread and wine from the vicar.

After communion, the newly-baptised child was presented with a candle, and after a final hymn and a blessing the service came to an end.

A junior church was held during the service; just before the first reading, the younger children went into a room adjoining the nave at the front-right corner and stayed there until just before the blessing, when they came back into the main church.

Afterwards

Coffees and biscuits were served after the service from a table near the font. I was introduced to the vicar by one of the stewards, who welcomed me to the church.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: