Christ Church, Ramsgate  Church

Image Source: Rob Baker


Ramsgate's Christ Church lies in Vale Square, a pleasant location amidst large Victorian-era houses close to the West Cliff. It was conceived between 1846-47 during a turbulent period of sectarian tension in the historic seaside town. Following the end of Roman Catholic emancipation, they were free to construct their own churches and chapels. The West Cliff area of Ramsgate found itself a major centre of Roman Catholic revival, and Augustus Welby Pugin's magnificent St. Augustine's RC church was constructed at the same time as Christ Church, only a couple of streets away closer to the cliff edge. The Church of England was also embracing the Anglo-Catholic style of worship due to the increasing influence of Tractarianism. Naturally there was resistance to this from the Evangelical wing of the Anglican Church, and in this dissenting climate Christ Church was created, with less of an emphasis on sacramental worship and much more focus on the preaching of the Word. The first incumbent, Edward Hoare, was a firebrand Evangelist, who from his writings, was certainly not disposed towards the "Romanists" or the "ritualistic Tractarians." Funding for the church was raised through the efforts of Naval Lieutenant Hutchinson, and George Gilbert Scott was commissioned as the architect. The church was built in an Early English design, with nave, chancel and aisles to the north and south, with a small chapel at the end of the south aisle. To the north-east is a large tower with a shingled spire. The clock was added in the 1870s.In the 1860s it was renovated with the addition of a western gallery (removed in 1965). The pulpit and reredos date from 1869 and the lectern from 1885. The reredos in particular has historical interest. It was unlikely that Christ Church had a reredos behind the altar before 1869, but when one was eventually installed beneath the triple lancet east window it featured deliberately blank arcades devoid of any imagery or statuettes. In keeping with their theological position, the text of the Ten Commandments, Lord's Prayer and Apostles Creed have been carved into the empty arcade along with a plain cross in the central arch immediately behind the altar. In 1976 financial constraints necessitated the sale of the Church Hall; and 1986 the nave was reduced in size with the smaller north aisle converted into a meeting room, kitchen and toilets. Today with a very small congregation in a town with possibly too many Anglican churches; the future of Christ Church appears to be uncertain. Text by Rob Baker



Church Data


1851 Census Details


Seating Capacity: 1056

Morning Attendance: 800

Afternoon Attendance: 500

Evening Attendance: 600


Architecture Details


Original Build Date/Architect: GG Scott 1846


Second Restoration:







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