Name: German Christ Church (Deutsche Evangelische Christuskirche)
Address: 19 Montpellier Place, London SW7 1HL
The Parochial Area London West consists of the German speaking congregations in German Christ Church/Knightsbridge, Petersham and Oxford including the groups in Farnborough and Reading.
Please visit the website for times of services and details of other events.
German Protestant worship has a long tradition in London going back to 1669 when German merchants petitioned King Charles II for a site on which to build their own church. Thus, the Church of the Holy Trinity was built in Trinity Lane (demolished in 1875) and a Royal Charter was granted in 1673 with permission to worship according to the “discipline proper and peculiar to the Augustan confession and the constitution of the Germans”. Germans living in Westminster followed suit in 1692 and in 1694 William III granted them the use of the Chapel Royal in the Palace of the Savoy which became known as the German Lutheran Church of St. Mary-Ie-Savoy.
In 1700 a third German Protestant congregation was founded by Prince George of Denmark, the husband of Princess Anne, (later Queen Anne) in the Court Chapel in SI. James’s Palace. Thus a German Lutheran tradition was established and continued at St. James Palace for 200 years until it was terminated by a decree of King Edward VII on 1 st July 1901. This resulted in the congregation being homeless whereupon Baron J. Henry Schroder intervened and financed the building of the present Christ Church which was consecrated on 27th November 1904.
During the First World War, the Church was able to keep its doors open under the protection of the City of Westminster. The Second World War saw the German congregations in England, supporting the “Bekennende Kirche” in Germany in its resistance to National Socialism. Today the Church still serves the German speaking Protestant congregation (of several different nationalities) living in the West End and outer suburbs of London.
Designed in 1904, the church has a compact, neo-Gothic frontage. The lack of the a bell tower is a clear concession to the predominantly residential architecture surrounding the church. The interior can seat about 120 worshippers and houses the 17th Century Font from the original Church in Trinity Lane. A small organ loft houses the baroque style instrument built by Peter Bruhn + Son of Denmark in 1980 on which many famous organists have made recordings and held recitals. A hall in the basement adds further facilities for meetings and functions of the congregation.
Doctrine and style of worship
The German Christ Church has a structure of service common to churches of the Reformation in Germany. Central to the service is the word of God with members of the congregation participating in the reading of scripture. Music plays an important part in the service, with a prelude and postlude played on the organ at every service.
The German Christ Church welcomes German-speakers of many different nationalities ranging from tourists passing through, students, families on contract from abroad as well as members of the congregation permanently settled in London. The church supports many charities.
The Church Hall is made available during the week for the congregation’s Youth Group, the Women’s Group and for the tuition of Confirmation classes.
Activities and special features
The German Christ Church has a Youth Group, a Group for Young Mothers, a Women’s Group, a Bible Study Group and periodically Confirmation classes. Sunday School is taught twice a month parallel to the main service and occasionally special services are held for children.