The ACK Christ Church is a dainty little place frozen in time. If you’re new to Church Road in Westlands, you’ll need a keen eye not to miss this relic of the colonial era which is obscured by the boutique hotel and posh apartments that surround it.
For the 90 years since Lady Macmillan (who also built the Macmillan Library in honor of her husband) laid its foundation stone, the church has functioned as a special sanctuary of worship for kids as young as zero; originally as the Children’s Church, and now as the Christ Church.
Each of the four Sunday services held at the church cater to different age sets; from children, to teenagers, to young adults.
The family service which happens at 9am invites children aged 0-12 together with their parents for a kidified sermon, which as Rev. Peter Nzimbi describes it, sounds almost like a variety show, “The sermon is a children’s story. Whoever is sharing the word on that given Sunday narrows it down to the level of a child.”
Songs, dances and skits acted out by the parents and children are used to bring the stories alive. The preacher on his part would use tonal variations, memory verses, and with the aid of TV screens, project images so as to impress upon the kids the lessons of a particular story.
This Easter period, the church will step it up a gear by holding a donkey-led procession accompanied by a music band on Palm Sunday (April 9). This of course is the Sunday before Easter Sunday that signifies the triumphal welcome into Jerusalem that Christ received.
On Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, the church will host a feet washing service whereby the kids can symbolically wash each other’s feet. A three-hour meditation service will be held from midday on Good Friday, and then the season will conclude with an Easter Sunday celebration.
The church holds up to 60 children, who along with their parents constitute a near full house. But the church always welcomes you to join in, because as Rev. Nzimbi jokes, “We believe churches are like matatus – there’s always room for one more person”. All visitors receive a customary welcome that the reverend promises is quite unique.
• The church was started in 1927 and is gazetted as a national monument.
• Church road was named so because of the Christ Church.
• There is a crèche within the sanctuary for nursing mothers and their babies.