HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW about 1864? Do you know which Dickens novel was published that year? Or what move was legalised in cricket? I would assume, like the congregation of Christ Church, Ottershaw who were quizzed on the year one Sunday service in May, most of us do not know much.
But for the congregation of Christ Church it was a very significant time, as it was the year their church was founded by Sir Edward Colebrooke, an eminent Victorian and resident of Ottershaw Park.
To mark the celebration of 150 years since its founding, red balloons were released into the skies, a church family photograph was taken and a time capsule was buried, containing current newspapers, a church magazine, and photos of local places and people. It will be opened in 50 years.
Vicar at Christ Church in Ottershaw, the Revd. Sandra Faccini, said: â€œThere is a lovely atmosphere of celebration about the place. There is this sense that the church family were very proud of their church and all it has done over the years.
â€œVisitors seemed encouraged and have really enjoyed the events so far. It was quite hard work but very worthwhile.â€
"A kind of 'happy birthday' approach"
A special service conducted by the Rt Revd Ian Brackley, Bishop of Dorking was held at the church. Sat amongst a congregation more than 120-people strong was the deputy mayor of Runnymede, Councillor Peter Waddell; Surrey county councillor, Mel Few; descendants of Sir Edward Colebrooke; and previous vicars with their families.
The service included the commissioning of a new red altar frontal created by church members.
In another celebration service , there were representatives from schools and local groups in Ottershaw and guests from the Upper Clyde Parish Church, Abington, Lanarkshire, which was also gifted by Sir Edward Colebrooke.
â€œIt was great because the range of things we did appealed to a range of different people,â€ said Sandra.
â€œWe had a kind of â€˜happy birthdayâ€™ approach at the informal service where the oldest and the youngest members of congregation at the church cut a cake, and the children chose what to bury in the time capsule.â€
The celebrations continue until July, when the final event, a creative arts weekend featuring arts and crafts by the local community, takes place.