As described on our history webpage, Christ Church is not a parish church; it lies within the parish of Walcot St. Swithin’s. Before the 1870s and 1880s, Christ Church was not licensed to perform weddings or baptisms, so any members of the congregation would have had to use the parish church, which is less than a quarter of a mile away.
The parish registers of Walcot St. Swithin’s show that on 8th April 1816, William Wright married Rosa Ayliffe, a widow born in 1793 whose maiden name had been Stratford. In 1820, William and Rosa Wright moved to South Africa (with their children Martha and William, aged 3 and 1), where Rosa died many years later in 1867.
In her will, Rosa left sufficient money to build and endow a church in the South African town of Grahamstown, as a thank offering to God for the many blessings she had received in her adopted country. The church was named Christ Church and to this day it is overseen by a board of trustees, independent in some aspects yet in full communion with the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
Sound familiar? We’ll never know for sure, but it is certainly possible that Christ Church, Grahamstown was partly inspired by Christ Church, Bath. A sister church in the southern hemisphere.