Building » Hebburn – St James

Hebburn – St James

Mill Lane, Hebburn, Tyne & Wear NE31

A large church conceived before and built after the Second Vatican Council, conventional in plan and design. It has a tall southwest bell tower and a projecting baptistery. The original sanctuary has been divided off to form a small hall.

The tender for the construction of the church was dated March 1963. By c.1965 the church was approaching completion. It was opened in 1967. The architect was David Brown ARIBA of Newcastle. The contract sum was £57,740 4s 8d. At some point, a hall was created in the former east end of the church, also used as a weekday chapel. The presbytery is now used as the chaplaincy for the adjacent St Joseph’s RC Secondary School. The church is served from St Aloysius, Hebburn (qv). 


The church was built with external brick walls in stretcher bond, relieved by cast stone dressings and black and white aggregate panels. The pitched roof is copper-covered. The plan is rectangular, with a narrower sanctuary (now the hall), a tower at the southwest and an octagonal former baptistery at the northwest. The west elevation has a gabled five-light window with aggregate panels above and below, framing the segmentally-headed doorway. The north and south sides of the church each have five tall two-light nave windows, with aggregate panels below, while the chancel has a tall three-light window. The east end is blind. In the northeast angle between nave and chancel is the flat-roofed Blessed Sacrament Chapel, with further flat-roofed ancillary spaces along the south side of the nave.

The roofs of the tower and baptistery are pyramidal; the former is copper-clad, the latter covered in asphalt. The tower has a segmentally-headed south door and three square ground-floor windows set into the rendered face of the west side. Just below the eaves are four vertical openings on each side. The baptistery walls are covered in black and white mosaic panels.

Above the narthex is the gallery with the pipe organ. The inside of the west window is dominated by a large sculpture of the Risen Christ. The flat ceiling of the nave is decorated with four coffered bands, the coffering picked out in red and  in some cases containing the lights. The former baptistery at the northwest has blue glass in the clerestory window band, the original octagonal marble font, wrought-iron gates and a statue of Our Lady. Set against the east end is a glazed timber screen. The stone sanctuary furnishings date from the post-Vatican II re-ordering. At the northeast is a skylit recess housing the brass tabernacle on a marble pedestal. The Stations are unframed modern reliefs. The hall in the former chancel has a suspended ceiling and the remains of plain vertical panels along the east wall.

Heritage Details

Architect: David Brown

Original Date: 1967

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed