Life at Christ Church: 1944 to 1958

Life at Christ Church: 1944 to 1958

Beatrice Authers

A photo from this period shows Beatrice (or ‘Bee') Authers, Superintendant of the Sunday School for 5-8 year olds, with a number of her children. These include Sylvia and Margaret Moritz (the first twins born in Britain after the outbreak of the Second World War) and Maureen Houston.

The portable font was given in memory of Authers’ long service to the children of the church. Her father William Authers was Churchwarden from 1937-1942 and wrote the first Parish History.

Women's Own

A development of lasting importance during this period was the foundation in 1946 by Mrs Bartle of Women’s Own. This group which originally drew in women of all ages aimed to draw them into ‘a happy fellowship that they may know Christ and learn of him and seek to serve him in everyday living’ (William Auther's First History of Christ Church). Women’s Own celebrated its 70th birthday during 2016 and is the longest running group in the history of the church. The photo below is of the original leadership team.

This photo is of meeting in the upstairs of the Parish Halls.

The photo below was taken of a garden party on the Vicarage lawn from 15th June 1950.

Family Services

Another key development started by Claude Bartle during these years at Christ Church was the beginning of Family Services, which were held on the first Sunday evening of each month from 1952. Photos from this period (such as the one shown below) show the considerable popularity of this services with people queuing down Coombe Road to get in.

It was from 1969 that a morning Family Service began, the forerunner of our ‘Seven Up’ services that are held on the first Sunday of the month.

King's Own

King’s Own continued to flourish during this period under the leadership of David Burton and then, from 1957, Douglas and Barbara Hill. Large numbers attended, as shown from the photo below from the annual houseparties at Capernwray Hall in 1956, 1957 and 1958.


A wedding photo from this period shows the daughter of Reg Ellis, Margaret Ellis, marrying the Reverend Laurence Wynne on November 29th 1947. The wedding gown was made of silk from a parachute, as there was still rationing in 1947!

They later became the parents of one of Christ Church’s most beloved missionaries – Shelagh Wynne.

Another wedding during this time was that of Alison Raffin, pictured below.

Marguerite Speirs

The photo below, taken in 1945, shows Marguerite Speirs, who served as a Christ Church missionary from 1933-1952 in Jerusalem, Lebanon and Jordan.

Another photo shows Marguerite in later life with her father in the 1960s.

A brass plate on one of the pillars near the back of the church remembered her mother Marian Speirs as the first Mayoress of Malden and Coombe and member of Christ Church for 52 years. Today their family home on Traps Lane is an old people’s home named Speirs House; Christ Church clergy lead a Communion service there once a month.

Life at CCNM 1935-44 Building CCNM 1944-58 Life at CCNM 1958-68