Last year I wrote a series of articles on the churches of Exmouth. Since I wrote those articles news has come to me that there is one church that celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2022 and therefore, somewhat belatedly, in celebration of this I thought readers might like to read about it.

How many times have you walked up North Street passing the character houses on your left, entered into Windsor Square and walked straight past a rather imposing building which once you climb the steps to its entrance, has three magnificent pillared archways to welcome you in? The building is opposite the police station in what was originally called Brunswick Square, now Windsor Square. It was built in 1872 by the Wesleyan Methodists who used it for worship before outgrowing it and moving on in 1897 to their church in Tower Street.

Around this time, in 1895, a group of evangelical members of the Church of England met to discuss their concerns with their local parish church. Neither their vicar nor their bishop would listen to their concerns or receive a deputation from them. As a result, they left the church and established a church that they thought would uphold 'the Word and Biblical Worship'. They wrote to the Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the UK with their intention.

On 10 April 1896 they assembled in the Assembly Room of the Beacon Hotel to form their new church, Christ Church, which they called Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church (REC). Initially, they held their services in the Public Hall on Strand, now the Savoy Cinema.

In 1897 they purchased the Windsor Square church from the Wesleyan Methodists. Bishop Eldridge consecrated Christ Church on 22 January 1897 and the Rev G J Lascell was appointed the first minister. He was the incumbent for six years during which time the church grew in size and became a centre of evangelical worship. In the first three months alone the congregation grew to 238 and because of this growth the church approved expansion of the building a year after moving in. Extra pews to accommodate the ever-increasing congregation were added and another aisle was opened up to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. In 1903 Rev Lascell was succeeded by Rev H S Gregory and during his time there once again extra seating had to be added at the end of pews and extra chairs brought in, such was the popularity of the services. The church grew to 400 communicants which accounted for 5 per cent of the town’s population at the time!

During the next 50 years the church continued to grow and in the 1950s Rev Watkins as part of his ministry successfully attracted more children and young people to the church. He became a bishop in the church in Broadstairs, Kent and was succeeded by Rev A Ward. In the 1980s Rev David Page oversaw the church become even more family orientated.

Since 1897 Christ Church has had 18 incumbents and the current one is Bishop Josep M Rosello–Ferrer, to whom I am indebted for his assistance with preparing this article. The church celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2022 and now looks to build on its success to date with renewed enthusiasm for the future. Happy anniversary!

May 6th sees the Coronation of Charles III and I will be writing on this nearer the time from an Exmouth point of view. If you had a relative who attended the coronations of either Edward VII, George VI or Elizabeth II I would love to hear from you with your stories.

Why not come and volunteer as a steward at the museum? Even if you can only spare an hour or two we would love to hear from you. To find out more about Exmouth Museum at the museum’s website or you can email me at