Life at Christ Church: 1976 to 1990
Missionary support and partnership
Sending out missionaries to serve God in other parts of the world has always been a key aspect of Christ Church. A key part of reenergising this commitment from 1966 to his death in 1979 was the work of Tony Devis with the numerous missionaries sent out from Christ Church over the following years. More locally, Christ Church also spearheaded the development of ‘The Schools Worker Trust’ (now ‘Insight’) to take the message of Jesus Christ into local schools.
A blessing of Curates
Christ Church had a number of fine curates during this period. Following on from Doug Johnson (see Life at Christ Church: 1968-1975), was Geoff Maughan, here with wife Jenny. Geoff was Curate from 1977-1981.
Martin Brown was then Curate between 1981 and 1985.
Paul Weston was curate at Christ Church from 1985 to 1989. His wife Ginny was also ordained and served as a Deacon at Christ Church from 1987 to 1989. The photo below of Paul and Ginny was taken at Ginny’s ordination at Southwark Cathedral in 1987.
Before 1987 women were only allowed to serve as Deaconesses but from that year they were granted the same ministry as male clergy in their first year of ordination. Ordination of women as priests, however, still lay in the future.
Paul Weston was succeeded as Curate by Graham Wintle, who served between 1989 and 1992.
A new development in the mid 1980’s was the establishment of the post of Parish Administrator – chiefly in order to free up the clergy for their preaching and pastoral ministry. The first Parish Administrator was Charlotte Sparrow (1984) followed by Tony Penny (1985-1998), Mavis Spencer (1998-2003), Martin Churms (2003-6) and Elizabeth Hill (2006-present).
Another feature of Christ Church during this period was the development of a strong measure of women’s ministry. Before the Church of England’s decision to ordain women as priests (and therefore Vicars) in 1992, opinions on women’s ministry were less polarised than they later became and there was general consensus that the ministries of Nina Putman, Meg Guillebaud, Lynn Critchley, Ginny Weston (as Deaconesses/Deacons) and Hazel Hainsworth (as a Lay Reader) in the 1970s and 1980s were deeply positive for Christ Church.
However, the election of women ‘sidesmen’ for the first time in 1981 was still described in the Second Parish History by Olive Voller as ‘an interesting innovation’ and ‘no doubt a sign of the times’.
Weddings and Baptisms
The following photo from 1983 shows John Short conducting the wedding of Anthony Coton and Lesley Kelley, daughter of current member Daphne Kelley.
Another photo from 1986 shows John Short baptising Alice Keen, the daughter of Keith and Christine Keen.
Baptisms at Christ Church during this period generally took place on Sunday afternoons.
Members of Christ Church were sometimes entertained during this period by a group of singing Dads known as 'The Forefathers', made up of (left to right) David Brown, Graham Mitchell, John Attfield and Richard Jones.
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