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We are family

If there's one word you'll hear again and again as people describe Christ Church, it's the word 'family'.

We really do seek to live as brothers and sisters, caring for each other's needs, encouraging each other, rejoicing with each other and occasionally grieving with each other.

But this is no ordinary family. In our 'household' are people of all ages and walks of life, many different personalities and temperaments, and a number of different countries. For all our different profiles, we love spending time with each other and welcoming others into the family.

Our biggest groupings are students, people in their twenties and young families. But there's every one from babies to grandparents in our fellowship.

We enjoy a vibrant community life. Outside our regular group meetings, there are always people meeting up for meals, movies or games nights, going for walks or coffee outings, kicking a football around or throwing a frisbee.

It's all part of being family.

We are serious

If you want to get a handle on the ethos at Christ Church, you need to know that we have a clear set of values. We have a lot of fun, and we certainly don't take ourselves too seriously, but there are some things we're deadly serious about.

1. Serious about Jesus

The apostle Paul wrote 'I want to know Christ'. Well, so do we. Jesus is the centre of our lives as individuals. And he's the centre of our corporate life as a church. 

2. Serious about the Bible*

God hasn't left us in the dark about his plans. He's given us his written word, the Bible. We treasure that gift: we teach it and study it in order to know God better, and to live accordingly.

3. Serious about Prayer

'When you pray...' said Jesus. In other words prayer isn't optional. In fact it's the delight of every believer and undergirds all we do as a church: we depend on God to do his work.

4. Serious about Community

Christ Church is not a one-hour-a-week church.  Far from it! We're constantly looking for ways to love, support and care for each other. We want everyone to feel part of the family.

5. Serious about the Gospel

We may have a family feel, but we're not just a club for people to make friends and grow old together. We're more an army on a mission: 'contending as one for the faith of the gospel'.

6. Serious about Training

We're keen for everyone to develop their God-given gifts. So we work hard to 'prepare God's people for works of service'. That means not just doing ministry, but teaching it. 

7. Serious about Godliness

'The fruit of the spirit is...' As we study the Bible together, we're aiming not simply to inform minds, but to transform lives. We long for the work of the Spirit to be evident in all our lives. 

*For a summary of the Bible's teachings as we understand them, please click here.

meet the staff

  • Orlando Saer (Senior Pastor)

    Orlando is married to Libby and they have four children. He enjoys taking the credit for the Saints’ meteoric rise since he switched his support to them in 2011, but in truth tends to enjoy sport more from the sofa than any closer up. Apart from that, you might catch him relaxing with a bit of music or a spot of reading. Before training for the ministry, Orlando was a school teacher.

  • Jonny Clifton (Associate Pastor)

    Jonny is married to Laura and they have three girls and a boy. Laura grew up on an island (Anglesey) and so she's excited to be near the sea again and Southampton is Jonny's hometown and so he's delighted to be back. Jonny is beginning to learn the ukelele, he's pretty bad at it so all tips, lessons and words of advice are welcome.

  • amanda lansdowne (children's pastor)

    Amanda has three children, all of whom are now taller than her. In past times she has lived in Swansea, San Francisco, Sydney and Surrey; and is glad that the move to Southampton has pushed the trend back towards S’s by the sea. Amanda is very excited about her role at Christ Church, and thinks that teaching children the Bible is the best thing ever.


    Pete has recently moved to Southampton after growing up in Bath, having previously lived in London, Oxford and Bath.  He is married to Susie and they have three children. Pete is rather competitive, enjoying most sports that he thinks he's good at! Besides this, Pete enjoys making and drinking coffee, reading, watching films and generally being outside.

  • sophie cornes (student pastoR)

    Sophie grew up in a large, rowdy family in Sussex. As far as she knows she’s always trusted Jesus as her parents taught her about him and helped her see what it looked like to trust in him. She loves asking questions and found that the bible always seemed to have good answers! She enjoys having a go at any kind of sport although her enthusiasm outweighs her talent.

  • JAMES DE MARS (OPERATions manager)

    James is married to Sarah, and has lived in Southampton since 2014, having grown up in Basingstoke. After going to university he worked for a couple of years on the railway, where he became more interested than most in trains. He likes a good book, or being outside walking – nothing more strenuous than that. 

  • Chris 'kit' evans (PASTORAL ASSISTANT - MUSIC)

    Chris is a Southampton native. After returning to do a PhD in Music, he worked as a school teacher for a couple of years. He is looking forward to overseeing the Music Ministry at Christ Church amongst other things and encouraging the church in the wonderful gift of God that is singing together. 

  • naomi tillin (ASSOCIATE)

    Naomi moved to Southampton to study Environmental Science in 2013 having grown up just South of Oxford. She loves reading, the sea, sewing (or generally doing anything creative with the exception of drawing), and her ideal Saturday would involve a walk or cycle in the beautiful English countryside, especially in Spring or Autumn.


    Elim Yu grew up in an ancient city in China, and moved to the UK to discover more about Jesus. Before, she was so confused about the meaning of life, but now she knows that because she knows Jesus, she has a new life with a purpose. Although her English sometimes means she stays quiet, Elim loves talking to people. Her Chinese name is Cuicui (she can teach you how to say it!).


    James spent his younger years amongst the bottomless bogs of Somerset and moved to Southampton in 2013 to study Mechanical Engineering.  He enjoys walking, bouldering and roast dinners.  Favourite topics to discuss at the pub include the engineering properties of stainless steel, large engines, mountains and ideally life with God.


    Zoe grew up in the seaside town of Eastbourne and moved along the coast to Southampton, where she studied psychology at university. She enjoys playing the piano and flute, baking (and eating) cake, and talking to cats whenever she can. Zoe is looking forwards to growing in her faith and helping others to do the same. 


    Born in Southampton, Richard spent most of his childhood in a village not far from the city, where he grew up learning about Jesus.  In 2013 he moved back here to study Civil Engineering at the university. Richard enjoys playing squash, watching films and studying large foul water drainage systems.


    Glodie moved to Southampton in 2016 to complete her Masters, and fell for Christ Church pretty quickly! She enjoys tagging her friends in memes on Facebook, and posting daily Snapchat stories, because her life is sometimes funny. She hopes to grow in Christ this year, and is looking forward to learning more about what it is like to serve Him.


The Beginning

In the autumn of 2006, a small group of Christians started to meet up each Sunday evening to study the Bible in the Elizabeth House Hotel.


A few months later, that small group began meeting on a Sunday morning under the name ‘Sunday@Swaythling’ as a witness for Christ at Swaythling Primary School. A number of individuals soon began to come to faith and grow in their knowledge of God.

Christ Church Southampton

There were a number of developments in 2010-11. The church became known as ‘Christ Church Southampton’, it moved to larger accommodation at Cantell School and it called a full-time pastor.

Under God’s gracious hand, as we’ve prayed, preached and planned, there has been rapid growth in numbers. What was a small group of a couple of dozen people is now a bustling community of hundreds of people, meeting in three congregations.

Getting connected

As time has gone on, we've begun to team up with other churches in different ways. Our affiliations and networks now include the FIEC, the Southampton Christian Network, the South East Gospel Partnership and the Solent Gospel Partnership.

Planting seeds

We’re a young church – in every way – but already we have much to thank God for and wonderful signs of his blessing. As we look to the future, we’re very excited about the prospect of planting new churches and have recently been involved - alongside other Solent Gospel Partnership churches - in establishing Cornerstone Church Portsmouth.