Christ Church, Ore, Hastings, Old London Road, Ore, Hastings


Christ Church is an Anglican church in the Ore area of the town it is one of three Anglican churches with this dedication in the borough. The Decorated Gothic-style church, in the centre of a village which has been surrounded by suburban development, was built in 1858 to supplement Ore’s parish church, St Helen’s. The most distinctive structural feature, a corner bell turret, has been described as both “outstanding” and “very naughty” by architectural historians. English Heritage has listed the building at Grade II for its architectural and historical importance.

As well as being distant from the growing village, St Helen’s Church was small and in a ruinous condition. A replacement church was planned (and eventually built in 1869) but before that the rector of the church, Rev. W.T. Turner, decided to found a new church closer to the centre of population. Ore had become a poor, working-class area affected by unemployment and poverty (the workhouse was twice replaced with a larger building), and he wanted to provide greater spiritual support to the growing population.[

Architect and engineer Alexander Dick Gough was commissioned for the work. Closely associated until 1848 with Robert Lewis Roumieu, who was known for curious and distinctive Gothic designs, Gough’s ecclesiastical work often showed unusual touches and was sometimes criticised in the influential journal The Ecclesiologist. Most of his churches were in London; Christ Church was his only commission in Sussex. He submitted his design in 1858, and the church was built over the course of the next year at a cost of £4,268 (£326,300 as of 2013). The foundation stone was placed by local philanthropist and church benefactor Countess Waldegrave on 23 November 1858

The church roof originally had vents to allow fumes from its gas lighting to escape, but these have been removed. Early in the 20th century, a carved timber reredos was added inside. A World War I memorial was erected next to the entrance porch soon after the war ended, and the original north transept was later converted into a vestry to form a memorial to victims of World War II. The church had been damaged by wartime bombing in February 1943, although it was soon repaired. The distinctive corner turret was comprehensively restored in 2003: work was carried out on its clock, bell, spire and the weathervane.


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