Christ Church, Norwich
Christ Church is one of those churches I have walked on by on many an occasion and oh how I now wish I had stepped inside sooner, for it has the most delightful of interiors. Painted in shades of duck egg and cornflower blue, with splashes of buttercup sunshine yellow, this beautiful colour scheme has an instantly calming effect and creates a wonderfully serene atmosphere.
The whole church has a very open and airy feel, which is emphasised by the roof’s beams and ribs painted in contrasting white. The layout is also very open plan, and even the separate south transept area for private prayer manages to feel part of the main space whilst still maintaining the appropriate privacy.
The church was built in 1841 by the local architect, John Brown. Brown was a pupil of William Brown of Ipswich and was responsible for the design of many churches and workhouses in the region. He also undertook surveying work at Norwich Cathedral and, assisted by his sons, restored the crossing tower at Norwich Cathedral in the 1830s.
Most of the church’s glass is clear, but there are two fine windows in the chancel and south transept. The chancel glass has been attributed to William Wailes, who was the last in a long line of glass makers employed and subsequently dismissed by Augustus Pugin. Pugin commissioned Wailes to produce the glass for his beloved St Giles in Cheadle before he finally took on the permanent services of Hardman & Co of Birmingham. Walies was originally a grocer and tea merchant by trade but, after studying stained glass production and design in Germany under Mayer of Munich, he established his own firm in 1841, making Christ Church one of his earliest commissions.