Church Street, Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6
A stone church in the Early English Gothic style, built in 1860 from designs by A.M. Dunn to serve a shipbuilding and coalmining community. The exterior is little altered and has some townscape presence, but the interior has been significantly and unsympathetically altered.
This part of modern Newcastle was historically not part of Newcastle. It was called Walker, a name now used for this district within Newcastle. The Catholic mission in Walker began in 1860 in what became a densely-populated area, its people mostly employed in shipbuilding and coalmining in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The church was built by the first mission priest, Fr James Foran, and is an early work by A. M. Dunn. It was opened on 18 September 1860.
The interior has been considerably altered in the course of post-Vatican II reorderings. The church was consecrated 11 September 1981.
The church is in the Early English Gothic style, and is built of local sandstone ashlar with ashlar dressings; the steeply-pitched roof is of Welsh slate. The plan consists of an aisleless nave, transepts and apsidal sanctuary. There is no tower. Attached buttresses mark the bay divisions. The windows are tall lancets, in stepped groups of three at the west end and in the transept gables. Some are now blocked. At the junction of the apse and the north transept is a small gabled structure with a round window in the steeply-pitched gable beneath the inscription ‘18 JF 60’; this refers to the date of construction and the name of the first mission priest, Fr James Foran.
The interior has been much altered, including reordering with three steps to the sanctuary and three to the tabernacle. The original Gothic font is in the south transept beside the steps; other sanctuary furniture is white marble in 1960s style. A glazed west screen forms a narthex, arranged to leave views of the stained glass, all with modern plain glazing around re-set pictorial panels from the first build. Very few mouldings are visible. The two west doors, under shouldered lintels, are the original ones. There is a suspended ceiling and all interior surfaces are covered in white Artex.
Architect: A.M. Dunn
Original Date: 1860
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed