Saturday, 5 November 2016

Christ Church, Lowestoft

This parish adjacent to the North Sea has suffered more than most.   The church was built in 1868 to serve the fishing community between the harbour and lighthouse, and for fifty years it quietly and dutifully served the people of it’s parish.
  Zeppelin raids  between 1914-1918 devastated the homes of this community. The few cottages which had been left habitable were finally demolished in the 1930s. These were replaced by council houses, but even these couldn’t survive the devastation that came with the extensive German bombing in the 1939-1945 war.  It changed this parish for ever….but the worst destruction came at the hands of the mighty North Sea which had provided the livelihood for this fishing community. The well documented East Coast floods of 1953 began the decline of the fishing industry in the town. The whole of this beach parish including the church was left deep in sea water - Christ church which had withstood all traumas through the years was so flooded that boats were used inside the church to ferry out belongings. Nowadays this parish is mostly made up of warehouses and Industrial buildings, plus the tallest wind turbine in the UK, this is close to Ness Point the most Easterly spot in Britain.

 On the outside of the fine West door of the church are details and height of this flood 

The small lead covered spire stands proud on top of the modest tower. 

I admit to feeling a little unsettled on visiting here as I knew the church doesn’t stand E-W as other churches but N-S.. therefore it’s East window is facing North. I suspect this was done because the small plot of ground the church was allotted would only accommodate the church if built in this particular direction.

Entrance into the church is via the North porch 

The nave is wide and spacious with arcades to divide the central nave from the North and South aisles.

Most of the church furnishings are C20 although I believe the wooden lectern to be from the C19 

The fine wood carving in this church reminds us that this craft is still alive and as good as it was in yesteryear. The beautiful octagonal font from 1952 and the choir stalls emphasises this 

The chancel arch has a striking line of scripture around it – this is the first thing that greets the eye on entering the church.

An early C20 East window depicting the Ascension stands above a reredos which is made up of stone panels painted with the Decologue and the Creed.

There are many wall plaques around the church walls  - understandably in this church a lot of them are for families who had a strong connection with the sea.

Thankfully Christ Church has shown that it can survive all adversity and today is thriving once again. It welcomes people of all ages and whatever their faith through it’s door.

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