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Christ Church - Speke Street


Christ Church, image copyright Jonathan Jayes

The Anglican church in Speke Street, Grahamstown is Christ Church; it is a lovely old church with an interesting history. There is an active worshipping community that forms the life of this church: See more at their blog christchurchgrahamstown.wordpress.com

Service Times

Holy Eucharist (with hymns) is celebrated each Sunday at 08.30, An Anglican Prayer Book 1989 is used.
At 17.30 on each Sunday, except the last Sunday of the month, a praise and worship service is held.

Contact details

The rector is the Revd Terry Micthell, telephone 0466 224 006 or 0845 447 147, email tmitchell@vodamail.co.za

The church is in Speke Street, Grahamstown.

Location: S33°18'21", E26°31'25"
The orientation of nave aisle is 30° North of East

History of the church

The church owes its existence to Mrs Rosa Wright née Stratford (1793-1867), an 1820 Settler of evangelical principles. At that time the styles of worship and church politics of the Oxford Movement were dominant in the early church of South Africa. The Evangelical Movement was in opposition to the Oxford Movement.[2] Mrs Wright was an adherent of the Evangelical Movement. Mrs Wright left sufficient money in the hands of trustees to build and endow Christ Church as a thanks offering to God for the many blessings she had received in her adopted country. Although independent in some aspects, Christ Church has always been in full communion with the Anglican Church of Southen Africa.[1]

Christ Church is a replica of an exquisite old church in Saxony, it was consecrated in 1876. The windows are wonderful. Tall and narrow like illuminated bookmarks, radiantly bright inserts between plain white walls. All is beauty, all is light. Among them is the first stained glass window to be made in South Africa. Designed and painted by Prof F W Armstrong, first head of the School of Art at Rhodes University, it is a glowing tribute to the memory of Julia Greathead née Wright (1824 -1908). "Nothing is far from God", proclaims a window text. Julia Greathead was the daughter of the benefactor of this church, Rosa Wright and she was the mother of the Grahamstown born and educated railway engineer, James Greathead, who was responsible for designing and constructing important early parts of the London Underground.

The organ has a particularly sweet tone and bears a wooden plaque commemorating Beryl MacKay, who served faithfully as organist for 50 years, from 1915 to 1965.

Footnotes

  1. O'Meara, E., and D.G. Greaves. Grahamstown Reflected. Grahamstown:Albany Museum, 1995.
  2. Bell, Mary I.M. Before and after the Oxford Movement. London: The Catholic Literature Association, 1933.