Christ Church, Lambeth

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Christ Church in 1875

Christ Church, Lambeth, was founded by the Rev Dr Christopher Newman Hall in the 1870s as a Congregational chapel forming part of a complex of new mission buildings, including the Lincoln Tower and a new premises for Hawkstone Hall. On Newman Hall's retirement, it passed to F.B.Meyer.

Christopher Newman Hall's Christ Church took its congregation largely from his previous chapel, the famous independent Methodist and Congregational Surrey Chapel that had been founded by the Rev. Rowland Hill and continued by Rev James Sherman.

The Modern-day chapel[edit]

Christ Church & Upton Chapel (2008)
Stained glass window
Foundation Stone, 1959
Foundation Stone, 1973

Christ Church was rebuilt on a smaller scale in the late 1950s and early 1960s, following the destruction of the original church during the Second World War, and was combined with Upton Chapel (Baptist), which had also been destroyed during the war (the Lambeth Road Upton Chapel had been built in 1862, providing a purpose-built chapel for baptist meetings that had been originated in 1785 by James Upton).

Today the chapel is known in this combined form, as Christ Church & Upton Chapel United Reformed, and more recently as Church.co.uk, Waterloo following its association with the Oasis Trust (the aims of the Oasis Trust are to provide and support education, housing, health care and employment across the world, as well as support and leadership to local churches).

The modern-day chapel looks inconspicuous on the outside, being integrated into an office block of a modernist architectural style. Its historic roots become clearer in its interior, which is now used as a cafe as well as a chapel. Here, a plaque, dating from 1894, has been displayed – salvaged from its bomb-damaged predecessor chapel built by Christopher Newman Hall. This reads:

In this pulpit Rowland Hill preached the first sermon in Surrey Chapel, June 8, 1783 'We preach Christ crucified' & continued to preach in it until April 2, 1833 nine days before his decease. His successor James Sherman preached in it till 1854, after which Newman Hall occupied it till June 25, 1876 when the congregation and institutions removed to Christ Church. This pulpit was opened to faithful preachers of all churches and amongst others was occupied by Venn, Scott and Berridge amongst episcopalians, and by Chalmers, Robert Hall, Jay, James, Parsons, of other churches.
This inscription was placed in the ministry of F.B.Meyer, 1894.

The interior also hosts an attractive stained glass window of considerable span, which partially illuminates the chapel from the east and depicts religious scenes.

On the exterior of the modern chapel, a foundation stone records some of the details its rebuilding in 1959. The architect was P.J.Darvall ARIBA, the minister was Rev. P. Saunders, and the stone was laid by J. Rider Smith.

The Victorian chapel[edit]

The Victorian 'Christ Church' was bombed during the Second World War, and only the associated Lincoln Memorial Tower, an adjoining part of the original 'Christ church' complex, remains to this day. However, the original foundation stone of Christopher Newman Hall's Christ Church was salvaged after the destruction of the Second World War, and has been conveniently placed at the foot of the nearby Lincoln Memorial Tower on Westminster Bridge Road. It reads;

This memorial stone
of
Christ Church
[perpetuation of Surrey Chapel]
was laid June 26, 1873,
by
Samuel Morley M.P.
'built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone'.
Newman Hall LLB pastor. J. Perry & Co builders. H.J.Paull FRIBA, Alfred Bickerdike, architects.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′54″N 0°06′43″W / 51.49844°N 0.11191°W / 51.49844; -0.11191