150th anniversary celebrations at Christ Church, Brondesbury
The Bishop of Willesden, Pete Broadbent, has joined the Mayor of Brent and the congregation at Christ Church with St Laurence, Brondesbury, to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
Founded in 1866, Christ Church was re-combined with the Parish of St Laurence in the early 1970s to make the parish of today. In the mid-1980s, two-thirds of the Victorian church building was converted into private accommodation. It re-opened in what was the transept, choir, and sanctuary in 1990 with a re-dedication service led by the then Bishop of Willesden. Technically, the church is “Flat 22”.
Christ Church is home to St Laurence’s Larder, a food bank and restaurant which provides a warm welcome and fresh and healthy three-course meal for those who struggle to make ends meet. It is run by Stephen Chamberlain, a former Maitre D’ of L’escargot and supported by the churches of Brent and beyond, along with many local businesses and the Felix Trust. Over the past twelve months St Laurence’s Larder has had 4,400 guests.
The Reverend Fr Stephen France, Rector of Christ Church, commented:
“As we celebrate 150 years my mind is turning to the next 150! I am delighted that with few resources of people and money we continue support thousands of people in need in this area and across North West London. So that everyone in the parish has a place to pray, Bishop Pete has blessed our new prayer chapel which is open daily and I hope will quickly become a place of prayer and stillness in this busy city.”
The Bishop of Willesden commented:
“Christ Church’s story is like that of so many of our Victorian churches. Originally in the midst of green fields, it has served a burgeoning and diverse community, being and bringing good news to rich and poor, alien and stranger. It has been great to celebrate that story – and to look forward to a continuing life of witness and service to the people of NW6.”
St Laurence’s Larder was featured in a recent Evening Standard article and more information about the church can be found on their website.