Rev Bryan Apps
As a curate in Andover in the 60s Bryan held services in a converted double decker bus to serve the people of the new housing estates who as yet had no church of their own. Services were held on the lower deck with Sunday school upstairs. Inside the bus was an altar and a tape recorder to play the organ music.
In early 1970, the Revd Bryan Apps was invited by Bishop Faulkner Allison to be the Priest in Charge of Christ Church Freemantle on the
proviso that unless he obtained complete support within four years, the church could be closed. In 1970, Revd Apps changed the pattern of Worship and instituted the 10:00am Parish Communion to replace 11:00am Matins. In the years that followed, St Monica’s Mission and the church hall were sold in order to reinstate the parish church with new flooring, heating system and wiring, and to replace the pews with chairs.
The Parish Rooms (to include a kitchen, toilets and meeting rooms) were built at the back of the church in 1971, to replace the former parish hall. The last service took place in St Monica’s Mission on Palm Sunday, 26th March 1972 after 81 years as the daughter church of the parish. After this initial work had taken place, Freemantle was confirmed as a viable parish and Revd Apps was made Rector.
Plans were subsequently made to reorder the rest of the church, with the plans being published on the front cover of the Parish News in 1973. The plans show that a nave altar and a semi circular altar rail and a portable font were suggested but not carried out. In 1974-5, the baptistery was moved to the South Transept. In 1974, the pews were replaced by 300 chairs, which had been purchased from St Mary’s Church, and
the original lectern was moved to make way for an eagle lectern, given by Holy Trinity Bournemouth.
The Revd. Apps left the parish in 1978 to move to the parish of All Saints, Southbourne.
Now retired, Bryan is well known for his paintings of classic motor racing. His paintings have brought him into contact with many racing greats including Stirling Moss, Enzo Ferrari and Nigel Mansell as well as Prince Rainier of Monaco who owned several of Bryan's pictures. You can read more about Bryan's racing art in the Bournemouth Echo article from 2010.
He was also President of Bournemouth Male Voice Choir.