There has been an Anglican congregation in Bolton from as early as 1832. The current red brick church on Nancy Street was built in 1874 with bricks from the Bolton Brickyard on Meadowvale Court, beside the current clergy house.
Curiosity: if you examine the bricks at the driveway side of the church, you can find kitten footprints in the actual bricks – evidence of the kittens who were galloping through the brickyard in the late 1800s.
The building was constructed on land donated by James and Ellen Bolton and Samuel and Anne Sterne. Many of the early Christ Church parishioners traveled some distance to come to worship together, so naturally the church lot included a stable for their horses. The first Parish Hall was built in 1938. By 1958 this hall was found to be inadequate, and a new one was built in 1959 to provide better heating, kitchen and Sunday school facilities.
The interior of Christ Church is traditional Anglican style, with a centre aisle leading to a raised chancel for the communion table/altar. In the early days, as was the custom, the altar was situated against the wall. In 1968 the altar was moved out from the wall, to allow the priest to face the congregation while celebrating communion.
We continue to blend the old with the new by keeping our original altar, pulpit, chairs and font. In the renovation of 1984, the chancel/altar area of the old church was removed and replaced by the present chancel area, which is much larger – for a circle for sharing communion around the altar, for our immersion baptism tub, for weddings, as a presentation area for community events, etc. Also, we have built an elevator to provide wheelchair access to the downstairs fellowship rooms and kitchen.
Most of our stained glass windows are from the very early years of Christ Church.
At the altar, the centre window shows Christ with his hand raised in blessing and includes the words: “I loved you; continue ye in my love.” It was given by the congregation in the 1880s. The left window shows St. John, given in memory of a parishioner, Isabella Johnston, in 1868. The right window illustrates St. Peter, also given in memory of a parishioner, Robert Johnston, who died in 1877.
The side window, a reproduction of Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World, was donated to us by the diocesan Anglican Church Women at the time of our 1984 renovation.