Christ Church


The Parish News for Abinger and Coldharbour, which is published 10 times a year and is delivered to every house in the Parish, includes a report on Coldharbour life; a copy is available by clicking here

On this page we focus on news directly relating to Christ Church. 

Celebrating 175 Years of Christ Church here in Coldharbour
175th Anniversary Order of Service Cover

Over the weekend of 21 and 22 October we celebrated the dedication of Christ Church in 1848 - 175 years ago.  The building of our Church was funded by John Labouchere, who lived in Broome Hall, on land given by the Duke of Norfolk. Pat Newberry, a former resident of Coldharbour and a great historian has written a short history of Christ Church which you can download by clicking here.

The weekend began on Saturday 21 October with two organ concerts by our organist David Hansell and colleague Philip Drew, complemented by two recitals by soprano Jenny Hansell. In each concert, the first organ piece was a fine duet by David and Philip playing Mozart’s Adagio and Allegro K554. This was followed by three William Blake songs with music written by Vaughan Williams not long before his death: Infant Joy, The Shepherd and The Lamb. We then enjoyed a second organ duet, Beethoven’s Adagio for a Flute Clock, followed by another three William Bake songs to settings by Vaughan Williams: A poison Tree. Ah Sun-flower and Eternity, sung by Jenny Hansell. The concert ended with an organ due – Sonata in G , BWV530, by J S Bach.

On Sunday 22 October we hosted the other three Leith Hill Benefice churches to a special service, which opened with the Village Band playing in the gallery; they also accompanied the choir and organ through much of the service. After a practice of the Coldharbour Hymn written for the occasion by Rev Virginia Smith with music by David Hansell, the service commenced with Leith Hill choir singing Psalm 122.  The full order of service, including the words of Virginia’s Coldharbour Hymn, can be downloaded by clicking here.  Virginia's sermon is on our Christ Church - Words and Thoughts page.

On completion of the service, the choir, the village band and the congregation together with Kia, Virginia and David got together for an excellent ‘bring and share’ lunch.

A real celebration, with thanks to John Labouchere and the 1848 Duke of Norfolk!

Guy and Nick have raised funds to contribute to the fight to save lions
Guy P and Nick J have raised nearly £1,000 by walking the 26 miles on the Wild Side from Cranleigh to Shoreham to raise money for Born Free, the charity established by Coldharbour's Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers and now run by Will Travers.

Village Band Concert, Saturday 22 July
Having moved from the Crocket Pitch to the Church to play in the dry, the Village Band and two splinter groups provided two hours of great music accompanied by excellent scones and clotted cream, in aid of the Dorking Band Stand initiative,, for which £345 were raised.

The Village Fete, Saturday 20 May
This year’s Village Fete, on Saturday 20 May,  was opened by Coldharbour’s very own Dame, Virginia McKenna, accompanied by her son Will Travers. Virginia’s honour, in recognition of her work for Wild Animal Welfare and Compassionate Conservation, was recently  conferred by The Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle. As soon as she had opened the Fete, the Village Band struck up the music from Born Free.

Benefitting from a blue sky and warm sun, a really good crowd enjoyed  lots of activities and things to buy for the younger and the older, teas in the Church, BBQ and the bar on the Memorial Ground and were entertained by the Village Band and the Superstrings Trio together with former village resident saxophonist Al Murray, as well as a dog show and our ever favourite Punch and Judy (not forgetting the balloon modelling). 

One of the best Village Fetes in memory, which some 500 people paid to attend and which raised exactly £10,000.

This very special afternoon was made possible by the efforts of an amazing number of villagers and friends, working before, during and after the afternoon, led by Kerry Day - the supreme organiser.

Our thanks to our sponsors - Meaby & Co, Mole Valley District Council and The Plough Inn -to  our advertisers and to all those who donated prizes for the raffle and tombola as well things to be made, sold, eaten or drunk and all  our music makers; everyone whose contribution helped make it such a great afternoon, and generate funds to help keep our village Church active and in good order.

Next year's Fete will be on Saturday 18 May

The Progressive Supper, Saturday 6 May
Saturday May 6th saw not only the coronation of King Charles III but the dawn of Coldharbour's Progressive Supper.  Between 18.30 - 21.00 the village was a buzz with people eating their way from one house to another before congregating at the church for a finale of delicious puddings and a toast to our new King. The opportunity to sit down and enjoy a dinner course with people that you may only say hello to in passing, turned out to be one of the main highlights.  Moving from house to house kept the evening fresh and exciting. Coming together at the Church was the perfect ending, reminding everyone yet again, of that special magic that Coldharbour nurtures. Like many of these events, so many people gave up their time to help and make it a success.  Thank you to each of you - you know who you are.  

The £722 proceeds are going towards the repair of the Church roof.  

Missed it this year?  Well, at the request of this years guests…..we’ll be doing it again next year too!

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting, Sunday 30 April
After six years of outstanding service to Christ Church and the local community, Mary Hustings has come to the end of her term of office as Churchwarden. During that term Mary has seen the introduction of Data Protection and Safeguarding requirements, steered us through the Covid restrictions and played central roles in managing the interregnum following Tony Berry’s retirement and the appointment of Kia.

Kia reported that ‘I have only had the pleasure of working with Mary for a year but she has been invaluable in helping me get up to speed with all things Coldharbour. Detail is not my middle name but her skill set has complemented mine enormously! The gap she leaves will be felt by all but hopefully she will have more time to pursue her other loves, including theatre and galleries and she can sit in the pews without having a long list of ‘to do’s.’

For the time being, Anthony Simpson will be our sole Churchwarden.

Bex Clarke and Amanda Hanlin were both elected to the PCC and Helen Potter, John Roberts, Martin Neve and Martin Richards were all re-elected.

Martin Neve gave a report on the satisfactory state of Christ Church’s finances, helped by a reduction in our Diocesan Share as a result of Kia’s ‘House for Duty’ appointment. 

We have 55 on our Electoral Roll and, including Kia and Sally (our Parish Secretary), there were 22 attendees at the meeting - amazingly strong numbers for a village of just over 300 folk, reflecting the central role Christ Church plays in the community.

Kia closed the meeting with a very special thanks to Virginia Smith for all she does for Christ Church and her real support to Kia.

Dorking Food Bank
A reminder that donations to the Dorking Food Bank remain very necessary - they can be left by the font at the back of the Church and or in the box in the drive to Plough Haven - just to the right of The Plough.  Because of mice, packets they can eat through should be left at Plough Haven not in the Church

Julian Meetings
We  usually have a Julian meetings on the fourth Sunday of each month at 6.00pm. 

They are named after the Mystic, Julian of Norwich, who had a powerful encounter with Jesus in the 12th Century. Following this she spent the rest of her life as an Anchoress writing about her experiences. Her 'Revelations of Divine' love is the earliest surviving English language works by a woman. 

Our Julian meetings are open to those of any faith and none. Following a short reading or reflection, we sit in stillness for half an hour for a time of contemplation. 

It is a wonderful way to gather our thoughts and still our minds before the week begins. 

We look forward to welcoming you, 

With love 

Rev’d Kia 

Do you have a question for Kia?
Just to make it clear – I am not a theological guru, I am more of a pastoral and practical theologian than an academic one (by the way a theologian is just someone who thinks about God!) - and this makes my very point!

Do you have random, poignant or (what you may think) silly question about faith, life and God? Like ‘what does ‘theologian’ actually mean? Will my dog go to heaven? What is communion all about, really?

Do you have question that you haven’t found the right time, or the right person to ask? Well, now may be your chance!

We are starting (trialling!) a new slot in the monthly parish news for you to ask those questions you’ve been holding onto or have just occurred! Nothing is too ‘simple’ or too complicated. I may (definitely!) not have all the answers but I can perhaps point you in the right direction.

Open to all ages, those of faith and those with none. All correspondence to me will be treated in confidence and I will only publish answers if permission is given, and you can always be anonymous.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Please write to

With every Blessing

Rev’d Kia