Christ Church From (1847-1897)Links to: Baptisms 1847-1880: 1881-1882: Banns 1847-1882: Marriages 1847-1887
The Rev. Henry MOULE the Vicar of St Georges Church in Fordington was also appointed by the War Office as Chaplin to the troops in Dorchester Barracks, which is where the current Dorset History Centre is now situated. In 1845 he wrote a book called “Barrack Sermons”. This sold so well he was able to use the royalties to build a church for the troops in West Fordington, which he named Christ Church.
Christchurch West Fordington c 1870 - Demolished 1933
©Picture kind permission of Dorset County Museum
Extract from Ornance Survey Map of Dorchester - 1886
He was a great friend of The Rev Henry Moule and a Captain in the 1st Kings Dragoon Guards. He was born in Bombay on 12th August 1803 the 2nd son of Augustus William Handley and his wife Anatolia, but baptised back in England in Rochester Cathedral on the 19th October 1810. He was educated at Queens College Oxford where he matriculated on 9th May 1821 and obtained his BA in 1825. He became a student of the Inner temple that year and married Jane Matilda HAY the youngest daughter of Lieutenant General HAY KCB who was Lieutenant Governor of Edinburgh Castle at Bredisholm Lanarkshire on 29th May 1828. Augustus was in Fordington as early as 1835 as Henry buried his 5 year old eldest son Charles Augustus Handley in St Georges churchyard in that year. He was ordained a deacon in 1839 by the Bishop of Bath & Wells and made a priest later that year under Henry's Ministry, carrying out a number of baptisms, burials and marriages at St Georges Church as an officiating minister in the 1840's. Henry named one of his own sons Handley after him in 1841. He was made the first incumbent of Christ Church in West Fordington, serving there from 1847 to 1859 when he was reassigned to the Vicarage at Alton Pancras. He undertook his last official engagement at Christ Church on 27th Feb 1859.
Jane his 1st wife died at West Fordington and was buried at St Georges Church on 23rd January 1849 having provided him with the following 8 children. (1) Charles Augustus Handley born 2 Mar 1829 died 5 Jan 1835, buried Fordington 10 January; (2) Louisa Grace Handley born Feb 1831 died a spinster 12 Apr 1918 Clifton Gloucestershire; (3) Henry Douglas Handley born Sep 1833 , died 18 Oct 1844 & buried by Henry Moule in Fordington 24 Oct 1844; (4) James William Handley born 4 Sep 1836 in Ayr. he had a distinguished career as a barrister in India and retired as a Puisne Judge of the High Court of Madras; (5) Augustus Mourant Hay Handley, baptised in Fordington 30 Dec 1838, died 27 February 1906; (6) Jane Frances Handley, born c1840; married Alfred Marwood Elton in 1865; (7) Arthur Henry Handley, born April 22, 1842; died 7 July 1895 in San Antonio, Texas; married Margaret Maria Mayer 31 December 1865 in Bangalore, India. (8) Edward Handley, baptised Fordington 28 July 1844; died 18th and buried Fordington 21st May 1845.
Augustus was married for a second time on 19th December 1850 in St Georges church Fordington by his friend of 25 years standing the Rev Henry Moule to Elizabeth Georgina Campbell(1810-1860) the daughter of the Rev Daniel Campbell. He served at Alton Pancras from 1859 to 1864. His 2nd wife died there but was returned to Fordington for burial in St Georges graveyard on 25th July 1860. Augustus moved again in 1864 to become the Rector of Fisherton Anger in Wiltshire and on 29th June that year he married for a third time at Broadwater in Sussex to Jane the widow of Thomas Webb Gilbert. His final move was as Rector of Blaisdon Rectory in Gloucestershire where he died on 13th April 1877.
Rev Henry THOMAS (1813-1859) MA - Served at Christ Church between April and June 1859
The son of Seth Thomas who may have been in the British Army he was baptised at Old St Pancras in London with 2 of his siblings on 15th March 1813. He married Dorothy DEALTRY at Fort William in Bengal India on 19th December 1843 and they had 2 children in Calcutta before moving to Africa and then returning to Hounslow in London. Being abroad so much it is difficult to locate his career in the church and I think that this is because he may have been a Missionary with the CMS as were several sons of the Rev Henry Moule. He appears to have taken over from the Rev. Handley in April 1859 and managed to carry out five baptisms in Christchurch, the last being on 24th June that year. He died aged 46 on 6th and was buried in St Georges Church in Fordington on 9th July 1859, so the Rev Henry Moule stepped into the breach until his replacement, The Rev Edward Hall, arrived in November that year. He left an estate of £800 to his widow Dorothy who was living at 28 High West Street in Dorchester in 1861 with her children before moving to settle in Hampshire.
Rev. Edward Moorhouse HALL (1793-1880) MA - served at Christ Church from 1859 to 1860.
Born about 1793 he was the son of David Hall Gentleman of Shipton in Craven in Yorkshire. He was educated at Oxfords Lincoln College where he matriculated on 9th April 1813 at the age of 20. He obtained his BA in 1816 and an MA in 1819. He then married Mary Anne Swainson in Halifax on 8th February 1820. She died and he remarried to a Mary Anne Smith in Sutton Coldfield Warwickshire on 15th February 1832. He was the incumbent of Corringham and Idle from 1830 to 1857 and although he never lived there additionally Rector of the Church of St Mary at Rufford from 1835 to 1843. He served at West Fordington from 1859 to 1861 when he moved to live at his house and 2 acres of land at Oaklands Villa in Littleover in Derbyshire which was sold in 1865. He died at the age of 87 in Shardlow Derbyshire about May 1880.
Rev Charles James BIRD (1830-1908) MA - served at Christ Church from 1861 to 1872.
He was born on 25th Feb 1830 in Burghfield Berkshire the son of Charles Smith BIRD and his wife Margaret. He was educated at Trinity College Cambridge where he matriculated in 1849 being awarded his BA in 1853. He joined the church and was ordained a deacon in 1854 serving as a priest at Chichester the following year. He obtained his MA in 1856 serving as curate at Ramsgate and then Margate in 1859. During his stay in Ramsgate he met his first wife Mary HANSON whom he married in 1856. They had 2 sons Ashley born in 1857 and Oswald born in 1859. Mary died on 26th April 1859 leaving him with 2 very young children. Charles soon remarried (on 12th February 1860 at Ramsgate) to Caroline Vidler the youngest daughter of R.B. CAY Esq.
In 1861, when he was 31 and his second wife was aged 23, he was appointed perpetual Curate to West Fordington. They had six more children born during his incumbency in West Fordington and by 1871 he is described as the vicar and was teaching three teenage boys in preparation for university. They had 4 servants with them at the parsonage which was situated on the north side of Christ Church between the Royal Horse Artillery Barracks and "The Grove". He resigned his “living” as vicar on a matter of principal over the “Bennett judgement” on 3rd November 1872. After leaving West Fordington he had 2 further children born at Clevedon and became an assistant master at the Bristol Grammar School until about 1882. He retired to Knypersley Hall near Congleton Cheshire where he died at the age of 77 on 12th Jan 1908.
Rev William Cook OSBORN (1815-1880) MA - served Christ Church from 1873 to 1880
Born about 1815 he was educated at St Johns Cambridge which he entered in 1835 obtaining his BA in 1839 and his MA in 1846. He was ordained Deacon 22 Sep 1839 and served as a priest (Bath and Wells) in 1840. He married Mary Anne the daughter of George Bland YOUNG of Broadchalke Wiltshire before becoming a curate at Melksham in 1842. He was appointed Chaplain to the new goal at Bath 1843-1872 and had a school in Bath in 1861 at South Hill House on Wells Road. He was Curate at Christ Church Trent Park Middlesex 1872-3 before becoming Vicar of West Fordington where he was appointed on 16th April 1873 and served until his death in the vicarage there on the 4th June 1880.
The Hon. Aubrey Richard SPRING RICE (1822-1897) MA - served Christ Church as Officiating Minister in 1880:- baptised in London on 15 Aug 1822 the son of Thomas [1st] Baron Monteagle by his 1st wife Lady Theodosia Pery. Attended private school in Middlesex. Admitted Trinity College Cambridge 1841; MA 1844 Ordained deacon Norwich 1846; Priest 1847; Curate of Great Yarmouth 1846-1848; Curate of Somerleyton Suffolk 1848--9; Curate of Sahay-Toney Norfolk 1849-52; Vicar of Netherbury with Solway Ash Dorset 1852-1877. Married 15th June 1852 to Anne MariaJane eldest daughter of Paulet St John Mildmay M.P. of Hazelgrove in Somerset. Served at Christchurch as Officiating Minister until Rev Sanctuary was appointed. Also Officiating Minister on occasions at Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester 1883/5. Resided lately at "Sunnyside" Dorchester where he died s.p. Nov 29th 1897; Brother of Thomas CW (1837) William C 1842; Source OXA
Rev Charles Lloyd SANCTUARY (1854-1934) MA - served Christ Church from 1880 to 1889
The second son of the Rev. Thomas Sanctuary of Powerstock near Bridport in Dorset. Educated at Keble College Oxford where he matriculated on 14 Oct 1872 at the age of 18. Exhibitioner 1872-1876 he obtained his BA in 1876 and his MA in 1880 when he was appointed vicar of West Fordington in July of that year. He married Evangeline Hopgood TABOR at Stretham Hill on 17th July 1884 and they raised a family of 8 children. He left Dorchester in June 1889 to become the Vicar of Powerstock a much more lucrative appointment compared to the £300 p.a. he received at West Fordington in succession to his father the late Archdeacon of Dorset. He died 7th Jan 1934 at The Close Rodwell-Road Weymouth leaving an estate of £4,147.
Rev. Charles Arthur Monk SMITH (1859 -1950 ) MA - served as curate of Christ Church from 1893-1896
First son of Charles Henry & Sarah Georgina SMITH of Risley Derbyshire (arm). He was baptised at Risley on 30th Nov 1859. A graduate of Kebel College Oxford where he matriculated 14th Oct 1879 aged 19.was awarded a BA Degree in 1882. MA 1887. Cudd. College 1883. Ordained a Deacon 1883 at Sarum; and priest in 1884 by Bishop Kelly for Sarum. Appointed Curate of West Fordington in 1883-1886; Upton w Chalvey 1886-7; Stewkley 1887-1890; Kemsing 1892-3; Vicar of Whorlton Co Durham 1893-1899; Chicheley 1899-1900; Curate of North Arreton Isle of Wight 1900-1902 where he lived with his wife Mildred Mary whom he married c1898 and was 12 years younger than him; Vicar of Soutlbury 1902-1909; Perm to Offic Dio Ely 1912-1914; Curate of Whitchurch Oxon 1915-1918; L Pr Dio Ox from 1918 Longdown Berks. He lived to the age of 90 and died in North West Surrey in March 1950
Rev. Charles Royland Haycock HILL (1850-1911) MA - served as Vicar of Christ Church from 1889 to 1894
The eldest son of Charles Hill he was educated at New College Oxford taking a second class moderations BA in 1871 and graduating with a 2nd class in Modern History in 1873 and an MA in 1876. He was ordained Deacon in 1875 and priest the following year in the diocese of Winchester. He was curate successively of St Peter; St Michael and St Stephen in Bournemouth. In 1883 he was appointed by Lord Ilchester to the rectory at Evershot with Frome St Quenton. Charles Hill was keenly interested in educational matters and married in 1884 to Ellen the second daughter of the Rt Hon. Edward B Wriottesley
before becoming Vicar of Christ Church in West Fordington in October 1889 and serving until 1894. He and his wife Ellen only had one son Walter Edward HILL born in 1892 who was killed in 1914 in the first world war. Charles then moved to Lyme Regis where he remained until 1898 when he became Rector of Holy Trinity in Dorchester. The Bishop collated him to a canonry in Salisbury Cathedral in 1901 and he had the rural deanery of Dorchester from 1908. He died and was buried in Dorchester Holy Trinity in July 1911.
Rev John Marshall COLLARD (1844-1917) MA - served as Vicar of Christ Church from 1894 to 1916
Born 16th July 1844 son of Rev John Marshall Collard he was educated at St John's College Cambridge. He matriculated in 1864 obtaining his BA in 1868 and an MA in 1871. He was a rowing blue in 1867 and ordained deacon in 1870. He was curate of Newbold-on-Avon 1870-1871 Vicar of Highmore Oxon 1871-1877, Curate of St Stephens Bournemouth 1890-1894. In November 1894 he then became vicar of Christ Church at West Fordington where he remained until 1916. He was also Chaplain to the Forces from 1894 and to Dorchester Prison 1910 to 1916. He was also Rural Dean of Dorchester 1912-1917 and prebendary of Salisbury 1913-1917. He died at Dorchester on 25th May 1917.
Christenings and marriages continued to be performed at Christ Church until 1924.
Links to: Monumental Inscriptions in the church and churchyard Church website
In 1895 a site at the Top O’Town was purchased for St Mary's, a chapel of ease and an iron church was erected there in 1897.
In 1907 parishioners raised a subscription to build a permanent church and an amazing row developed with the Bishop over its location. This was of sufficient magnitude to be reported in the Times Newspaper so I have copied the relevant articles below:-
"The problem of the church extension at Dorchester, which has for years exercised the minds of the ecclesiastical authorities of the borough and diocese has just entered a new and most interesting phase. The vicar, churchwardens and parishioners of West Fordington an extra mural parish that has extended considerably of late years and now has a population of 2,800 are unanimous in their desire to build a new permanent church on a central and commanding site now occupied by the temporary church of timber and corrugated iron built 10 years ago".