A short history of the church
Consecrated in 1864, the church was designed by William Butterfield, a prestigious architect of the 19th century. Better known for his designs for Winchester Hospital and All Saints, Margaret Street in London, Butterfield’s considerable talents are shown here in the way he could also undertake a much smaller and more intimate project. Christ Church Emery Down is built of polychrome Cornish brick and Bath stone. Seating for about 100 people, it has a delightfully peaceful atmosphere and fits perfectly into its forest environment. Most of the stained glass windows were also designed by Butterfield; the East end window was given in memory of Jonathan Hargreaves of Cuffnells, whose son Reginald married Alice Liddell (‘Alice in Wonderland’).
The altar frontal ‘For all Seasons’ was completed in 1989. Designed and embroidered by local artist, Joan Van Schaick, the leaves worked in the liturgical seasonal colours were made by many villagers and members of the congregation. The bell inside the church, at the south-west corner, was originally the school bell from next door and was gifted to the church by the Forestry Commission when the school closed in the 1950s.
Marking the millennium
The Stations of the Cross on the North and South walls of the church were commissioned specifically for Christ Church and its people and gifted to the church by two members of the congregation to mark the millennium. They were painted by Sister Theresa Margaret CHN on New Forest larch, prepared with a gesso ground, and done mainly in egg tempera.