The first church in the Parish of Christ Church was built in 1670, paid for by a legacy from John Marshall, a local businessman, on land given by William Angell, the Lord of the Manor of Paris Gardens. Since then there has been a continuous history of the church engaging with local issues and needs.

Over time these needs have become less clearly defined. After the final decline of manufacturing and artisan industry in the area in the 1980s the church now sits in a parish undergoing extensive and relentless physical change. The church has continued to try and serve a very mixed and changing population and is searching out new ways to be a relevant church in an uncertain situation.

One area of need on which many in the area, including local developers, are agreed is the need for a place of sanctuary, prayer and reflection. To meet this recognised need Christ Church is about to launch a dawn-to-dusk chapel, open and available for any local residents or busy workers in the area to pause and take time to reflect and re-centre during the working day.

Jonathan Coore, Rector, Christ Church, Southwark.