Christ Church 160th Birthday Celebration Dinner
(Charity No: 1134032)
at Steam Museum, Kemble Drive, Swindon
Friday, November 4th
7pm for 7.30pm (carriages at 1am)
For 160 years, Christ Church’s familiar 150 foot spire has sat high above Old Town providing an impressive beacon for Swindon – and a guide for planes landing at nearby RAF Lyneham.
The Victorian Gothic church, which was designed by the eminent architect George Gilbert Scott and finished in 1851, has witnessed so much change to the town in almost two centuries.
Over the ages, it has been a focal point for worship, service and celebration during wars and conflict, public and private mourning. The church has been a focal point for many organisations and numerous community activities, while providing a magnificent backdrop for baptisms, weddings and funerals.
Now, as the “Lady on the hill” reaches her 160th birthday in November, a celebration three-course supper, hosted by the Bishop of Swindon, Lee Rayfield, will be staged at the Steam Museum on Friday, November 4th.
This glittering occasion will be tinged with nostalgia, captured by a unique fashion show. The Wood Street-based bridal store Trousseaux, which lies within earshot of the bells of Christ Church, will be staging a dazzling fashion show of wedding gowns and apparel worn through the ages. This will be complemented by hair fashions through the ages designed by award-winning Swindon stylist, Steven Goldsworthy.
Entertainment will be provided by the sensational Nathan Jones’ All Stars Jazz Band, who have established themselves as one of the most entertaining musical groups in Swindon. There will also be a small auction which will include a once in a lifetime item donated by Richard Deacon of Deacons.
Besides celebrating 160 years of Christ Church, this bumper birthday bash will also kick-start an initiative to further develop the Old Town church as a community facility.
This Swindon gem is one of very few Grade 2* listed buildings, yet it remains in daily use. Parishioners and leading local business folk will create a 21st century future for both the church building and neighbouring community centre.
As part of the renewal programme, the church intends to replace the old heating system, level the floor and provide more comfortable seating. However, one of the main aims is to provide a new community centre to replace the ageing facility, which is used by a host of local groups.
So far more than £437,000 has been secured, much of it thanks to Christ Church reutilising assets to realise their vision of a long-term, sustainable future, but a further £160,000 is needed which the church intends to raise through a host of high profile events, grants and donations.
This gala event is expected to nudge the fund considerably higher with a prize raffle and auction, filled with mouth-watering prizes.
Tickets are now on sale costing £36 a head, which includes a cocktail reception.
Christ Church vicar, Rev Simon Stevenette, said: “I’m looking forward to this great occasion and would encourage the local community to come along for this birthday dinner to support Christ Church as we prepare for the next 160 years. It will be a wonderful evening.”
Woodland mushroom Roquefort cheese and red onion tartlet with rocket salad and toasted pumpkin seeds (v)
Breast of chicken wrapped in smoked bacon with a sundried tomato stuffing and tarragon sauce
Cous Cous and Provencal vegetable crumble with a herb crust and pepper dressing
Vegetarian Menu (must be pre ordered)
Served with Dauphinoise and a panache of vegetables
Chocolate truffle torte with raspberry coulis and vanilla cream
Coffee and mints
Dress: Formal Suit/Black Tie
If you want to get involved with the event and support through donations, raffle prize etc ring Maria Bretti on 07854 819213