Thomas Stringer is buried in Christ Church churchyard immediately to the front of the main doors at the West end of the church. The grave is shared by his wife Frances Stringer and a small cross adjacent to their grave marks the grave containing the body of an infant daughter Mabel who died aged fifteen months. Thomas and Frances had a very large family with ten children born between 1865 and 1886. Thomas himself born in 1833 came from a very large family being the oldest of twelve children born to Thomas and Mary Stringer of Macclesfield, Cheshire. His father was a timber and iron merchant and held notable positions in Macclesfield as Mayor and Justice of the Peace. Thomas junior attended Brasnose College Oxford and obtained a B.A. in 1855 and an M.A. in 1857. He was ordained by the Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1857 and from 1857 until 1861 he was employed in Somerset as Curate in the parishes of Coleford, Shepton Mallet, Queen Camel and Compton Bishop respectively. In July 1861 he married Frances Linskill-Galbraith daughter of Dr. Charles Galbraith (Surgeon) and Mary Linskill at Coleford Church. That same year he volunteered to work overseas for the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and with his new wife moved to Hong Kong. In 1865 he was appointed as Acting Consular Chaplain of Canton. He returned to England in 1866 with his wife and two children born in Hong Kong. He took up a post in Tittleshall, Norfolk before moving back to the South of England as Curate of Horton and Woodlands in Dorset where he was made Vicar in 1871. In 1881 he applied for the post of Vicar of Christ Church Portsdown and was accepted by Squire John Deverell of Purbrook who had built and endowed the church ten years earlier. Deverell was a convinced evangelical which tended towards the low church Bible-based format of worship, he did not agree with the Oxford Movement style of churching adopted by the two other nearby parishes at Farlington and Wymering. After selection as Vicar of Christ Church, Thomas Stringer moved into Park Cottage on the London Road nearby which was to become the vicarage, and remained until his death in 1916. He served our parish at Portsdown for 35 years seeing many changes during the reigns of three different monarchs. The brass lectern in the church was donated by the parishioners as a lasting memorial to his memory and is inscribed accordingly as a token of respect by his friends and parishioners.
With acknowledgements to Mr Brian Collis (Australia), Great Grandson of Thomas Stringer