Grafton Rd, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 1QY, UK

Priests

Revd David Renshaw

Revd Renshaw has been on long term sick absence since the beginning of 2020

Rev. Philip Walton

Rev. Wilfred Crittle

The Rev. Wilfred Crittle was a missionary working in Burma before later becoming Vicar of Worthing at Christ Church. A box of files belonging to him is held at Brimingham University, as cited hereAuthor of “Burma, Land of Many Tongues”, London: Bible Churchman’s Missionary Society, 1948 35 pp. (Field Survey No. 5). Story of work from 1924-1946 by an evangelical society of the Church of England.

Rev. Scutt
Rev. William Augustus Doherty

Rev. William Bridger Ferris

Vicar of Christ Church between 1898 and 1924, and prebendiary of Chichester. He died, aged 80, on 21st April, 1931. His friends erected a memorial in Christ Church “as a tribute to his faithful and fruitful ministry”.

1864-1891 Rev. Francis Cruse, 1824-1891

Francis was born on 4th January 1823 in Warminster, Wiltshire. He was baptised on 1st January 1824 at St Lawrence, Warminster, along with his sister Frances Ann, who is probably his twin. Francis was the son of Jeremiah CRUSE (1781-1861) and Elizabeth KNIGHT (1783-1840) and the grandson of Jeremiah Cruse (1758-1819) the land surveyor.
Francis went to St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, where he matriculated on 5th March 1846 aged 23. He was awarded a BA in 1851. He took up a position as a curate in Earlstoke, Wiltshire, in 1851 and was ordained as a deacon later that same year in the Diocese of Salisbury. The following year he was ordained as a priest. From 1852 to 1856 Francis served as the curate of Great Warley in Essex. In 1853 he married Charlotte Augusta Brace in Bath. In 1856 he moved to London to become the curate of the parish of St Jude in Southwark, where he remained until 1864 when he was appointed as the vicar of Christ Church, Worthing, Sussex. Francis was awarded an MA from Oxford University in 1875. Presumably inspired by his studies Francis wrote a book in 1879 entitled A Few Facts and Testimonies Touching on Ritualism which was written under the pseudonym “Oxoniensis”.
Click here for more on the Rev Cruse

We are thankful to Chris Hare for his extensive research into the life and ministry of Revd Cruse, and of Worthing at the time…

Francis Cruse was Christ Church’s longest serving vicar, 27 years, from 1864 – 1891. His incumbency spanned a period of unprecedented growth in the history of Worthing, with the population doubling in those years to reach 16,000. As well as having far more parishioners to minister to, Cruse suffered personal loss and grief, and periods of prolonged ill-health. Yet he did not lose heart, and remained constant in his faith. He was a great advocate of the temperance cause and a strong believer in the equality of all races.

In 1884, Cruse endured his greatest test when the town was beset by rioting that became so serious that armed dragoons with drawn sabres were called in to clear the streets. That the conflict arose from a religious source, namely the presence of the Salvation Army in Worthing, was a source of much pain and soul-searching on Cruse’s part. These riots have been written about on many occasions, but not through the eyes of a man’s whose parish was at the epicentre of the disturbances.

Chris Hare has researched this history from the Parish Magazines and here is the result!

https://worthingvillagevoices.org.uk/worthing-in-the-bad-old-days/

-1864 Rev. Philip Bennett Power

Rev. William Read
Rev. Charles Hole, d 1898

Charles was Vicar of Worthing and the incumbent at Christ Church from 1891 until his death on February 14th, 1898. He was a popular pastor, in whose memory the congregation erected a memorial