Building » New Seaham – St Cuthbert

New Seaham – St Cuthbert

Mill Road, New Seaham, Co. Durham SR7

An interesting design of the mid-1960s by David Brown, who was responsible for a number of modernistic churches in the diocese around the time of the Second Vatican Council. The church has a large collection of modern stained glass by Maralyn O’Keefe. 

The parish was erected in 1934, and the present church built in 1965 to serve the expanding settlement at Seaham. The architect was David Brown of Newcastle.

The church was reordered in 1991 by Jack Lynn, architect. The altar rails were removed and the  number of steps in the sanctuary reduced from eight to four. The new altar, ambo, font and tabernacle plinth were made using stone from Terroux (Caen) in Normandy. New lighting was installed and disabled access improved. 

In 2004 the parish commissioned forty new stained glass windows from local artist Maralyn O’Keefe to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the opening of the church; this programme of enrichment continues. 


The church is in a modern interpretation of the Gothic style.  The building is constructed with steel portal frames and roof purlins and wall-facings of grey brick laid in stretcher bond with reconstituted Portland stone window dressings.  The roof is covered in copper sheet. The plan comprises a tall nave and sanctuary under a continuous shallow-pitched roof, with low side aisles to the nave and a northwest tower. The west end wall has a central doorway set in a concrete surround with a tall five-light mullioned window over rising into the shallow roof-gable.  Attached to the northwest corner of the north aisle is a square brick tower with a concrete bell stage lantern which has three rectangular openings on each side and a pitched roof. The nave sides have low and narrow aisles with shallow-pitched lean-to roofs. Above them on each side are five bays of tall three light mullioned windows rising into gablets which rise above the slope of the main roof. The sanctuary side walls also have tall three-light mullioned windows.

The interior has not been inspected. It was reordered in 1991, as described above. The church contains over fifty modern, mainly figurative stained glass windows by the County Durham artist Maralyn O’Keefe.

Heritage Details

Architect: David Brown

Original Date: 1965

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed