Christchurch (after the addition of the belfry),1885

Christchurch (after the addition of the belfry),1885

Sir Thomas Edward Colebrook, Fourth Baronet and Member of Parliament, moved to Ottershaw in 1859 and gave land and a bequest to the public to build a church.

The church was designed by Victorian architect Sir Gilbert Scott and was consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester on 19th May 1864. The first vicar was Reverend John Roberts Oldham who presided over the church for the next 16 years and succeeded in making the church a fixture in the community. In 1881, he retired and Reverend Baron Hichens took over, presiding for 21 years.

It was a huge period of beautification of the interior of the church. Seven painting were added during this time, along with stained glass windows. A tower was erected and panelling and parquet flooring were added to the nave, along with a chancel screen.

In 1883, Ottershaw Park was sold to Lawrence James Baker, Esq., who gave more land to the church for a garden, and after Sir Edward’s death in 1884, he became the church warden.

The church’s bells were cast by J Taylor of Loughborough in 1885. The ring is the second-heaviest six-bell ring in Surrey. The church clock was made by J Smith & Company of Derby. A memorial plaque to Vicar Hichens under it reads: “set up to measure our time here and to remind us of Eternity hereafter”.

Interior of Christchurch, Ottershaw, after 1895

Interior of Christchurch, Ottershaw, after 1895