Christ Church Lowestoft celebrates 150 years
17 July 2019
Monica Brewster shares the story of the ongoing commemorations of Christ Church's 150 years of outreach and ministry in the seaside community of Lowestoft.
Christ Church was built in 1868 and opened its doors on 12 February 1869. It is special in that it is the most easterly church in the British Isles and points towards the north rather than the east. It was built to serve the close-knit Beach Village fishing community, known as ‘the Grit’.
Some of the church members served as lifeboatmen and if news of an emergency was received during a service, they would have to leave to help in the rescue. The Scots fisher-girls used the halls for gutting and packing the ‘silver darlings’ into barrels to be sent countrywide and overseas.
The church was extensively used during the revival in Lowestoft in 1921.
One hundred and fifty years later, not much remains of the Beach Village it served. However, people continue to worship Jesus at Christ Church from all over Lowestoft. The teaching remains very much Bible-based, evangelical and with a missionary outlook.
In this anniversary year, 2019, we have celebrated in many ways:
- We had a special service in February to remember God’s work in the area in the past;
- Several former ministers have returned and preached on various Sundays;
- We had a whole weekend celebration at the beginning of June centred on Christ Church marriages over the years:
– A display of 18 Wedding Dresses, all around the church, including a mother and her daughter’s dresses side by side,
– Floral displays on every ledge with Wedding themes,
– Photographs in the hall showing members looking much younger than they do now!
– Scrapbooks with all sorts of interesting newspaper cuttings,
– Archive video footage,
– A café serving wonderful cakes, tea and coffee.
– Another celebration service, featuring a couple married here over 40 years ago and still going strong.
Kerry, one of the organisers, said “I really enjoyed preparing for the weekend. It gave me the opportunity to have fellowship with new people and to learn a lot more about our history. I felt privileged to share the stories behind the wedding dresses.” She went on to say “The people who came remarked on the friendly atmosphere and felt very welcomed. They appreciated the opportunity to see inside the church, look at the dresses and browse the photographs, which brought back so many memories.”
On 2 November we have a Sea Shanty Evening in the Church Hall to look forward to, with a Fish ‘n’ Chip Supper and visit by the Shanty Chorus. Rev Phil Moon will be staying that weekend.
This will round off our celebrations for the year. It has been a lovely time and we pray that God will continue to use us to spread his Good News in the years to come.