Fabric

Fabric and History

The Priory Church was founded in 1094 as an Augustinian Priory and has significant surviving Norman architecture and a fine Jesse screen in the Great Quire. The church survived the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and was given to the town of Christchurch
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The Jesse Screen
Music

The Priory Choirs

The Priory has a long choral tradition. This tradition is continued today with our thriving and expanding music programme. The basic aim of all the choirs is the same: to be able to lead and enhance the worshipping life of this church.

Regular Sunday services are led by the Priory choirs: the boys choir and the girls choir, who each sing together with the dedicated team of volunteer choirmen.
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Priory Choirs
Priory Gift Shop

Priory Gift Shop

Our new bright and spacious Gift Shop in Priory House opened April 2014 in conjunction with our new catering facilities. We have a wide selection of gifts, cards, books, jewellery, pickles and preserves, CDs and souvenirs to suit all ages and budgets.

As well as a variety of Priory branded items and other reminders of Christchurch and the area we have many gifts for special occasions.
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Priory Gift Shop
Community

Groups at The Priory

There are many fellowship, Christian education and interest groups operated by the Priory Church and you are warmly invited to try and maybe join one or more of them.

Welcome Group, House Groups, Junior Church and Little Church, Youth Group - 'ithink', Alpha Course, Church Mice, Mothers Union, The Priory Bells
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Priory Bell ringers
The Priory Church does not receive any grants to maintain this magnificent building and its Christian mission and is entirely reliant on the generosity of its congregation and visitors. We would be very grateful if you could make a donation using the button to the left. Thank you. To view a video of an external view of Christchurch Priory please click the picture to the right.

Welcome to Christchurch Priory

Welcome to Christchurch Priory, home to a thriving Christian community, set on the southernmost edge of the town on the confluence of the River Avon and the River Stour as they flow into Christchurch Harbour.

Prayer and worship have been offered on this site for more than 1,300 years, and in this Priory Church for over 900 years, by people who have left behind a testimony to their faith in the architecture of this magnificent parish church which dates back to Norman times. We are open every day of the year, and welcome a large number of visitors from across the world.

A wide range of services is on offer in the Priory, many of them involving our choirs which are among the best parish church choirs in the country. As a Christian community, we set out to be welcoming and inclusive, and so the Priory is also used by the people of Christchurch for weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other significant events in both local and national life.

We hope that you will have the opportunity to visit us, to enjoy the beauty and peace of this building, to take time for prayer and reflection, to light a candle, or to join us in any of our acts of worship which take place regularly in this remarkable church hallowed by centuries of prayer and worship.

The Church Wardens


Forthcoming services and events

28 January 11:00am Eucharist with Hymns
29 January 12:30pm Lunchtime Organ Recital GEOFFREY MORGAN (CHRISTCHURCH PRIORY) Admission Free, retiring collection, Lunches and light refreshments available from the Cloisters Cafe, open 10.00am to 4.00pm
4 February 11:00am Eucharist with Hymns
5 February 12:30pm Lunchtime Organ Recital SIMON HOGAN (SOUTHWELL MINSTER) Admission Free, retiring collection, Lunches and light refreshments available from the Cloisters Cafe, open 10.00am to 4.00pm
11 February 11:00am Eucharist with Hymns
12 February 12:30pm Lunchtime Organ Recital NORMAN HARPER (SOUTHWARK R.C. CATHEDRAL) Admission Free, retiring collection, Lunches and light refreshments available from the Cloisters Cafe, open 10.00am to 4.00pm
18 February 11:00am Eucharist with Hymns
19 February 12:30pm Lunchtime Organ Recital SAM HANSON (ST PETER'S, BOURNEMOUTH) Admission Free, retiring collection, Lunches and light refreshments available from the Cloisters Cafe, open 10.00am to 4.00pm
More   Special servicesFull calendar

Churchwarden's announcement

The church wardens are delighted to announce that Canon Charles Stewart has been appointment as Priest-in-Charge of the Benefice of Christchurch. (Subject to the usual appointment processes and clearances).

Revd. Canon Charles Stewart has been Vicar of the Parish of Walton-on-Thames since June 2006, where St Mary's, the 12th-century parish church, and St John's, the 1950's daughter church, serve the largest parish in Guildford Diocese. Charles was previously Precentor and Sacrist at Winchester Cathedral, where he had been chiefly responsible for the Cathedral's liturgy and music from 1994; and before that he was no. 2 at Bath Abbey, another member of the Greater Churches Network.

The Parish of Christchurch looks forward to welcoming Charles and Pat, together with their children Kate and Jonny (both in their twenties) after Easter. Our prayers are with the Parish of Walton-on Thames as they prepare for an interregnum.

Pat Richards and James Morton Churchwardens

Regular Service Times

  • Sundays
  • 8am - Holy Communion (BCP)
  • 9.30am - Sung Eucharist and Sermon
  • 11.30am - Choral Matins and Sermon
  • 11:30am - Baptism Service (4th Sunday)
  • 6.30pm - Choral Evensong and Sermon
  • Weekdays and Saturdays
  • 8.30am - Morning Prayer
  • 9am - Eucharist (except Thursday)
  • 11am - Holy Communion (BCP) (Thurs)
  • 11am - Eucharist with hymns (Wed)
  • 5pm - Evening Prayer (4pm Winter)

For a full list see the Services and Special services pages.

Opening times

Monday-Saturday 9.30am - 5.00pm (4.00pm Winter)

Sunday 2.15pm - 5.30pm subject to services