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Christ Church, Chelsea, designed by Edward Blore (1789-1879)

Christ Church, Chelsea (1839), designed by Edward Blore (1789-1879); extensions by J. Arthur Reeve; new West front by W.D. Caroe; entrance porch designed by G.G. Woodward (1933).

According to the church's informative website, “The cost of building the new church [about 10% the expense of constructing nearby St. Luke's] was paid for by the Hydman Trust; the Hydman family having originally made their money in the West Indies, where they owned extensive sugar plantations.” In other words, the church was built from the profits of slavery. Wilberforce, who appears in a very fine stained glass window, might well have appreciated the irony.

Left: The south side of Christ Church (looing in the direction of King's Road. Right: A raised inscription inornate lettering (c. 1933?)

Originally built out of concern for “the spiritual well-being of the new urban working class,” the church changed as its surroundings did: “By the 1890s the parish had not only become more populous but its social character had also changed. New houses of palatial proportions were erected along the new embankment, Tite Street was in its heyday as an artistŐs colony, Tedworth Square was being completed and the old shops and cottages that once clustered around the junction of Flood Street and Cheyne Walk were being replaced with large blocks of mansion flats.”

The West Front Stained Glass

Left to right: The entire window. (b) Adam in the Garden of Eden: “And man became a living soul.” (c) Wilberforxce and Shaftbury: “I aw a new heaven and a new earth.” Two types and shadows of Christ plus the Virgin Mary: “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee.”

Left to right: The baptism of Christ with John the baptist at gthe left: “The spirit of God descending like a dove.” (b) The twelve apostles with the dove (Holy Ghost) and communion wavers above them: "“And they were filled with the Holy Spirit.” (c) Saint Augustine converts the English to Christianity: “Saint Augustine lands in England.”

Related buildings in the same parish


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Last modified 8 January 2011