About Our Church
Christ Church Blacklands was built was built on a piece of land belonging to the Blacklands Farm Estate, which was owned by the Frewen family. When Charles Frewen was the owner, he decided to build a chapel on this very commanding site at the corner of Laton Road and St. Helen’s Park Road, for the use of the local population. Originally the building was a simple structure, with no tower or schoolroom, and seating approximately 350 people. The first service was held here on 17th June 1877. This was as a local chapel, which then became the Church of the new Blacklands Parish in 1881.
Soon after the Parish was formed, the Rev’d. Alfred Hodges became Vicar. He had ambitions for the new Church, and wanted a tower and a Sunday School room for the 300 children on the register. Both ambitions were successful, with the School room built first and opened in 1884. The tower took a bit longer, with the first phase, the Baptistery, being completed in 1889 and the rest of the tower in 1890. The tower houses a peel of eight bells, which are rung regularly by a dedicated team of ringers. The font in the Baptistery is of a very rare and beautiful design, there being only one other like it in the whole country.
The building has been beautified at various times in its history, until we have the Church you see today. The sun flooding through the West Window in Summer, for our evening services, give everything a warm glow. In the early morning, the sun shining through the beautiful stained glass East Windows, above the High Altar, gives a wonderful light to the Chancel, showing off the painted ceiling and walls, the mosaic inlaid reredos and the front of the Organ. The stained glass is especially notable, much of it having been donated by benefactors in the past. The pair of Harvest Angels above the Vestry Door is a very fine example.
In 1965 the Vicar of the neighbouring Parish of St. Andrew, Hastings, retired, and the two Parishes were united to make one larger Parish. The St. Andrew’s Church stood on what is now Morrison’s car park, on Queen’s Road. This arrangement is reflected in the present title of the Parish.
A descriptive leaflet about the buildings is available in the church or can be viewed on-line here.