Christian was the architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of England from 1850, one of the architects of the Church Building Society and consulting architect for the Charity Commissioners from 1887. He would have known Scott and Street well and been immediately able to recognise their work. Although he worked on about 2,040 buildings in England, he never seems to have done anything in Scotland. His churches were said to be ‘distinguished more for quietness and repose than for architectural effect’. He lived at Hampstead, not far from The Grove, and worked closely with Scott on the report on Chester Cathedral in 1867.