The parish of Christ Church started with the building of an infant’s school when the population of Latchford grew large enough to warrant such a school. This building still exists and it is now known as Wash Lane Schoolroom. However, after the death of Thomas Greenall, and following his wishes, his family decided to build a small sandstone church of Gothic design. The church consisted of a nave and chancel with an ornamental spire and its first priest was the Reverend Richard Greenall. On Tuesday, 16th July 1861 the Bishop of Chester, the Right Rev. Dr. John Graham, consecrated the church under the name of Christ Church. One can still find a brass plate in the chancel of the church commemorating the event: – “To the glory of God, and in affectionate memory of the late Thomas Greenall of Wilderspool and Grappenhall this church was erected Anno Domini 1861.”
Christ Church was originally a chapel of ease to the mother church of St. Wilfrid at Grappenhall and was made a parish by Order of Council on 12th March 1866 with a population of 1,031 people. The parish priest at that time was the Reverend W.R. Burgess. The Vicarage was built in 1867 on land adjoining the church bought by Thomas Greenall’s sons.
In 1875-76 a gallery at the west end of the nave was removed along with the organ. A transept, organ chamber and a vestry were added on the north side of the church. An organ which originally belonged to St. Wilfrid’s church was installed as well as the west tracery window and a sedilia was placed in the
Sanctuary. Stained glass windows were placed at the south side of the chancel and at the southwest end of the nave. At the beginning of September 1882 an alabaster reredos and chancel arch were added.
The church consists of three separate elements joined together. The tower and spire are situated above the porch on the south side of the church and they are attached to the nave by a short corridor. An aisle on the north side of the nave was an addition to the church in 1902.
In 1946 a fire destroyed the organ and damaged the chancel. Subsequent restoration has resulted in the installation of oak choir pews, pulpit, lectern and screen as well as a new organ by Messrs. Jardine and Company Ltd.
The church was then re-dedicated on 16th July 1949 by the Bishop of Chester, the Right Rev. Dr. D.H. Crick, exactly eighty-eight years after the original dedication. On 15th July 1951 the Bishop returned to dedicate the restored and enlarged War Memorial Screen which marked the end of the restoration.
(From “The history of Wash Lane” written by Mr. D. Forrest)