Christ Church

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The roodOwing to the massive rise in population of Hendon in the nineteenth century, it was decided in the 1870s to build a chapel-of-ease to St Mary’s.

On New Year’s Day 1881 the foundation stone was laid by Baroness Burdett-Coutts, and Christ Church was built to designs by Mr Stephen Salter.  The church was consecrated on 29 October 1881 by the Bishop of London. 

In 1896 a rood screen dividing the nave and chancel was added by Temple Moore, the architect who was later to extend St Mary’s Church.   The rood itself (the crucifix flanked by Our Lady and St John) was added in 1932 by Martin Travers.

In 1923 Christ Church became a parish in its own right, and the Revd A C Clifford-Jones was inducted as the first Vicar.  Shortly afterwards a church hall was built in The Crest, opposite the church.  In the 1940s various additions were made to the furnishings of the church, including an aumbry for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.

Christ Church has always been a very sociable church.  From the mid-1940s there was a very active Sea Scout Group, as well as a Wolf Cub Pack, and Girl Guides and Brownies.  There was a very able boys and men choir, an active Mothers’ Union branch, a Young Wives’ and Young Mothers' Groups, a Men’s Society and, in 1957 the Christ Church Boys’ Club was formed.  Between 1963 and 1985 Christ Church was also home to the Christ Church Hendon, Drama Group.

In 1967 a new organ was installed, purchased from a redundant church on the Isle of Dogs.  This organ was partially rebuilt in 1987, and enlarged in 1990. 

In 1986 the Church Hall was sold to raise money for the restoration and re-ordering of the church.  The ceiling was repaired, and a partition built to create a new Parish Centre at the west end of the nave, including the provision of kitchen and toilet facilities.  The rood screen (but not the rood) was removed, and the choir stalls and organ moved to the south aisle.  This allowed for an altar to be placed at the front of the chancel, and a sacristy built in the former sanctuary, partitioned by the reredos.

After an act of vandalism in 1999 the former high altar, which had been used to lay out vestments in the sacristy, was reinstalled, and the chancel was once again opened up, and the Victorian tiling on the east wall exposed for the first time since 1962.  The reredos behind the new Lady Chapel altar was created from the panels of the previous altar, depicting the Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In 2001 the parishes of St Mary and Christ Church were re-amalgamated.