Description of Historic Place
Christ Anglican Church is located at 138 Wellington Street, on the northeast corner of Wellington and Hill Streets, in the City of London. The two-storey white-brick church was constructed between 1862 and 1863.
The property was designated, by the City of London, in 2007, for its cultural heritage value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. 3392-164).
Christ Anglican Church is the second oldest Anglican church in the City of London. It was constructed between 1862 and 1863, and consecrated in 1863. The funds for the construction of the church were raised by its first rector, Reverend G.M. Innes, and the Women's Committee, at St. Paul's Cathedral.
Christ Anglican Church is associated with important citizens of the City of London, including Reverend J.W.P. Smith, the Church's third rector. Reverend Smith's most notable contribution was his involvement, along with that of the Faculty and alumni of Huron College, in helping to establish the University of Western Ontario (U.W.O.) in 1878. In addition to this and his parochial duties, Smith taught at Huron College. Reverend Smith and the congregation's contributions in the establishment of U.W.O. are recognized by a plaque erected above the nave on the north wall, which commemorates the University's 75th anniversary.
Christ Anglican Church was designed by prominent London architect, William Robinson. Though Robinson had much experience in the design of churches, his work was primarily for Presbyterian congregations. For this project, he was required to adapt to Anglican design criteria to suit the ritual requirements and remain within the strict budget. Robinson succeeded in meeting the challenges and his accomplishment, Christ Anglican Church, has been noted as turning financially-enforced simplicity into elegant orderliness.
Christ Anglican Church was designed in the High Victorian Gothic church style using local white brick. It displays many features typical of this style. These features include a hip roof, lancet windows, which are fitted with wooden hood moulds and sills, and arched gothic transoms above the double wooden doors on the façade and the south elevation. Also of note are the gables on the façade and north elevation, which sit on top of a raised brick frieze and are topped with white stone caps.
The Wellington Street façade of Christ Anglican Church is divided into three distinct sections, based on the positioning of the lancet windows, gable and buttresses. This division echoes that of the nave and side aisles in the interior of the church. Similarly, the alignment of the buttresses on the north and south elevations correspond structurally with the columns inside the church.
The interior of Christ Anglican Church is comprised of wide pointed arches, elegant octagonal shaped slim wooden columns, and exposed and ornamented wooden brackets and roof beams. The chancel is shallow and features a magnificent pointed arch, a gallery, a staircase and three stained glass windows, thought to date back to 1863. These portray religiously significant geometric and floral patterns. The Parish Hall was added to the church in 1879, and was designed in the same style and utilized similar materials as the original structure.
Sources: City of London, By-law L.S.P 3392-164; City of London, Reasons for Designation, 2007.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Christ Anglican Church include its:
- plaque commemorating the University of Western Ontario's 75th anniversary located on the north wall of the nave
- local white brick construction
- hip roof
- positioning of the lancet windows, gable and buttresses on the façade, which divide the façade into three distinct sections, and echoes the positioning of the interior
- alignment of the buttresses of the north and south elevations, which corresponds structurally with the columns in the interior
- double wooden doors surrounded by wooden hood moulds and topped by arched gothic transoms
- lancet windows fitted with wooden hood moulds and sills
- gables on the façade, which sit on top of a raised brick frieze and are topped with white stone caps
- chimney on the north elevation
- interior feature of wide pointed arches
- octagonal shaped wooden columns
- exposed and ornamented wooden brackets and roof beams
- stained glass windows in the chancel, which are thought to date back to 1863
- gallery and staircase in the chancel