Christ Church, Esher
The town centre parish church of Christ Church (right) is a Victorian Gothic building with a fine tower and spire, opposite Esher Green. Christ Church celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2004, and was built to replace the original parish church, St George's, which was no longer big enough to accommodate the growing population and the visitors who came to see the royal family at Claremont. Christ Church has a magnificent Walker organ in the English Romantic style which has recently been renovated and the pipes redecorated at a cost of over £200,000, and a fine peal of eight bells. The east window is by Sir Ninian Comper: the Chapel reredos by J R Spencer Stanhope has now been moved to the Treasury at Guildford Cathedral. Notable memorials are those for Richard Drake, moved to the south wall of Christ Church from the earlier parish church of St George (where it had been erected by his only son, Francis Drake, a godson of Sir Francis Drake); King Leopold of the Belgians (a gift from Queen Victoria in memory of her favourite uncle) in the room at the bottom of the tower; and Prince Leopold (her haemophiliac son) in the north aisle.
St, George's, West End
The daughter church of St George (below) overlooks the village green and pond in West End at the southern end of the parish. The church celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2004, though it originally came in kit form and was intended to last less than seven years. It and the adjacent school (now the village hall) were built on land donated by Queen Victoria and were provided for the servants of the estate at Claremont and workers on the local farms.
St. George's, Esher
( in care of Churches Conservation Trust)
We also maintain a relationship with the original parish church of St George (below), built around 1540 on a site which has had a place of worship for over 900 years. The present building is mostly sixteenth century but has particular historical connections with Princess Charlotte, daughter of George IV and heir to the throne, her husband Leopold, first king of the Belgians, his niece the young Princess Victoria, her youngest son Leopold, and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. It is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Amongst the most interesting features are the family pew built to Vanbrugh’s design for the Duke of Newcastle; a three-decker pulpit; two balconies (sadly no longer in use); and a beautiful memorial to Princess Charlotte by F J Williamson.