Christ Church stands as a splendid embodiment of "Villa Rustica" architecture, crowned with a uniquely Romanesque campanile, or tower. Since its dedication in 1857, this National Trust-classified edifice has been a beacon of Christian worship in Brunswick for over 160 years.
Each element of this church—from its architectural contours to its stained glass —echoes the faith of its worshippers and the beliefs that have defined Christianity for over two millennia. Entering the church, one passes under the campanile where a single bell tolls the Angelus daily. An intriguing window in the porch depicting the Agnus Dei, the Lamb of God, catches the eye. Not just a lamb, but a lamb with a lion cub's face bearing the banner of the Cross, symbolising the resurrection.
Before stepping into the church proper, there is a holy water stoup. Worshippers can dip their fingers into the blessed water, making the sign of the cross as an act of unity with Jesus' sacrificial love.
As you delve deeper into the church, you encounter the font, a pivotal component in the sacrament of baptism. This ritual, steeped in significance, has been a cornerstone of Christianity since its inception. The sacrament of baptism is a tripartite cocktail of elements: repentance for our failures to live as God wishes, a public declaration of belief and trust in God, and immersion in water symbolizing the washing away of sins.
Saint Paul, an eminent early Christian, wrote in his letters that baptism allows us to partake in Christ's death and resurrection. This sacrament washes away our sins and offers a fresh start to eternal life. The church's strapline, "Enter the Mystery", epitomizes this initiation into the faith—a faith grounded in love, a mystery so profound that it eludes even the most eloquent of poets.
The font at Christ Church has baptized countless Brunswick residents over the past 160 years. Baptism here isn't just for infants; it's never too late to join the faith. Like many ancient fonts, ours features biblical stories carved into it, including a depiction of Jesus' baptism.
The Lady Chapel
As you arrive at the nave crossing, the Lady Chapel nestled in the North transept invites you to pause and reflect. This sacred space encourages you to remember your family, friends, and the needs of the world before Our Lord and His Mother. The pulpit here features icons of three evangelists by Nicholas Draffin, each panel a testament to faith.
Music and Art of the Church
The South transept houses a beautiful pipe organ, the "king of instruments." This magnificent neo-baroque instrument, built by Roger Pogson in 1971, accompanies our choir and congregation in their hymns of praise.
In the sanctuary, you'll find the icon "The Mystical Supper" painted by Michael Galovic. This artwork invites contemplation on the Last Supper, a critical event in Christian history.
Walking the length of the church, you'll find the Statue of Christ. Here, take a moment to pray and remember that the Church is the Body of Christ, and we are His instruments in the world. Following the garden path, you'll discover the Sacristy, marked by an unusual brass knocker in the form of a demon on its heavy timber door.
Complete your tour of Christ Church by strolling between the church and the vicarage to rest by the fountain in the piazza. Here, give thanks with the Angels and Communion of Saints for Christ, our Living Water.
The Altar is the most important place where we encounter the presence of Jesus who promises to feed us with the gift of himself under the form of bread and wine. In the Gospels, He says we are to understand that these are indeed His Body and Blood.
This table is called an altar to because at it we recall the sacrifice He made for us on the Cross. We call these gifts 'Holy Communion' because, in the deepest way, we are commune with Him as we receive them together.