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Special services to be held as church celebrates major milestone

PUBLISHED: 14:07 06 February 2019

Christ Church Lowestoft, which is marking its 150th anniversary this year. Picture: Courtesy of Lowestoft Living Word

Christ Church Lowestoft, which is marking its 150th anniversary this year. Picture: Courtesy of Lowestoft Living Word

Archant

Remembering the past and focusing on the future.

The Beach Village in Lowestoft under water at the height of the 1953 floods. PICTURE: Supplied.The Beach Village in Lowestoft under water at the height of the 1953 floods. PICTURE: Supplied.

That is the aim of a special service being held this weekend as a Lowestoft church marks a significant milestone.

Christ Church in Lowestoft will be 150 years old next Tuesday, February 12, and to mark this major occasion a special celebration service will be held at 3pm on Sunday, February 10.

Last year Christ Church, Lowestoft hosted an exhibition detailing the lives of the people who lived in Lowestoft's Beach Village also known as 'The Grit'. Picture: Nick ButcherLast year Christ Church, Lowestoft hosted an exhibition detailing the lives of the people who lived in Lowestoft's Beach Village also known as 'The Grit'. Picture: Nick Butcher

There will also be a series of special services with guest speakers – all past curates and a previous vicar – and other events throughout the year.

This Sunday’s celebration service at Christ Church, on Whapload Road, Lowestoft, will remember the past and focus on the future, and will be followed by tea and cake.

Rev Matthew Payne from Christ Church, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick ButcherRev Matthew Payne from Christ Church, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

Monica Brewster, church office manager, said: “Our celebrations will start with a special anniversary service on Sunday.

“There will be hymns, prayers, readings, several testimonies, a ‘Review of the Years’ and a bible talk by Rev Matthew Payne.

The Lowestoft Beach Village in September 1958. Photograph: Archant LibraryThe Lowestoft Beach Village in September 1958. Photograph: Archant Library

“We thank the Lord for all those who have had links to the church over the years – it would be lovely to see lots of faces here, both old and new – a chance for a great reunion.”

Christ Church was designed by H Oldham Chambers, and after being built in 1868 it opened on February 12, 1869.

Christ Church, Lowestoft in days gone by.Christ Church, Lowestoft in days gone by.

As the most easterly church, with the most easterly stained glass window in Britain, Christ Church was built to serve the Beach Village fishing

community.

The Lowestoft Beach Village, and Christ Church, during the 1953 floods. Picture: John HolmesThe Lowestoft Beach Village, and Christ Church, during the 1953 floods. Picture: John Holmes

Rows of houses in the fishing community were destroyed during the First World War and the Second World War, and in 1953 the East Coast Floods hit the Beach Village, including the church.

Christ Church was flooded for days and the Vicar at the time – Peter Street – is known to have helped rescue people from their homes, and even rowed a boat inside the church to save artefacts.

Almost 150 years old, the church building has needed constant repair, maintenance and upkeep over the years.

Other special services take place on May 26, June 2, August 4 and November 3. There will also be a celebration weekend on June 8 and 9 with music, refreshments, a wedding dress display and children’s activities, including a celebration service at 3pm on the Saturday.

The celebrations conclude with a Sea Shanty evening with fish and chip supper at 7pm on November 2.



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