A flourishing English community lived around the area of Ouchy at this time, and by 1878 the building of Christ Church was completed to the designs of an eminent English architect, George Edmund Street. We still have and use the organ from that time. A full-time chaplain was engaged. Schools were full of young ladies acquiring French and other social and cultural skills, many of whom sang in the choir. Other schools existed to teach French to a sizeable component of young men – mostly young officers.
Christ Church was the centre of a busy English-speaking community. The congregation grew so large that the church was expanded in 1898.
The church was closely involved with the first ecumenical conference ‘World Conference of Faith and Order’ in 1927, one of the movements which led to the establishment of the World Council of Churches in Geneva in 1948.
Between the two world wars, many people returned to England and the fashion of boarding schools for young ladies in Lausanne naturally declined. Anglican traditions of worship and the glorious church building of Christ Church were passed on to the following generations.
Christ Church is now recognised as an historical monument by the Canton of Vaud, largely due to the historical and architectural value of its magnificent stained-glass windows. The building is Neo-gothic in style, and one of the largest Anglican churches in the Diocese of Europe. The present community is involved in preserving these surroundings, as wisely and as sensitively as it can. A vast restoration campaign has been ongoing for the last few years: to date the roof restoration has been completed, as have the west wall of the building and its magnificent stained glass windows (1996),and the east wall with its elaborate stained glass window (2003).
We also have a beautiful garden surrounding the church.
The latest project in the church has involved replacing the damaged wooden floor with more durable material. As a result, the Church now has improved acoustics, perfect for perpetuating the Anglican tradition of fine Church music.