Appleton le Moors - Christ Church

Christ Church was built in the 19th century to the highly detailed internal and external design of the celebrated architect J. L. Pearson. It remains to this day substantially as designed and built. Pearson built many other churches throughout the country, including Truro Cathedral, and was also responsible for the extensive restoration of Lastingham Church in 1879.
Pearson was a spiritual man, and he poured much of his faith into his design – as can be seen by a study of Christ Church, which was dubbed by Archbishop Thompson ‘this little gem of moorland churches.’ In John Betjeman’s English Parish Churches it is described by the architect George Pace as follows:
A church finely conceived within and without by J. L. Pearson, the almost detached tower and spire and the apsidal chancel being its highlights.The building is a solid stone structure of mainly local materials, except for the external shafts of the openings which are of red Mansfield stone. Coloured stones, especially Rosedale ironstone, are used in bands and patterns with good effect. It consists of nave, aisles, and chancel with an apsidal east end, suggested perhaps by that of the mother church at Lastingham. An unusual feature is a narthex as a West porch opening into the church by two doors, between which stands the Caenstone font. On either side of the doors are two blocks of miniature pews for children, having been welcomed into the family of the church when baptised in the font, moving here for the next stage of their journey of faith. Sunday School was taken in these pews; from there they moved to the nave, and then on, up towards the chancel and the altar rail, the place of full communion. The placing of the font and these pews is highly symbolic, and Christ Church is a rarity in retaining the original features in situ.
There is a chapel at the east end of the north aisle, which was never finished but possibly intended to receive an altar-tomb with a recumbent effigy of Joseph Shepherd.There is a tower surmounted by a spire 90 feet high, in an unusual position at the east end of the south aisle. It contains a fine peal of six bells by Mears and Stainbank (now the Whitechapel Bell Foundry), currently in need of restoration. The clock is by Smiths of Clerkenwell (labelled Boxell of Brighton), and was provided by public subscription in 1870. The church was built by Appleton craftsmen: Messrs Smith, builders, and Messrs Tomlinson, joiners. The organ is by Forster & Andrews and dates from 1866.

Page last updated: Tuesday 6th December 2022 10:42 PM
Powered by Church Edit