Albion Road West, North Shields, Tyne & Wear NE29
A functional design of the 1970s, replacing a historic chapel of 1821.
The first St Cuthbert’s church was designed by Robert Giles, and was begun in 1817 and opened on 14 June 1821. It was described by Pevsner (1957) as ‘Unscholarly and not without gusto… Fanciful quite incorrect E.E. detail… a pretty Chancel vista…’ It was a cheerful building, in the Strawberry Hill tradition but not sumptuously so. It was listed, but developed structural problems and was closed in 1972. Permission was given by the Secretary of State for its demolition in 1978, after a public inquiry. An old people’s home now stands on the site.
The present church was built from designs by David Brown of Newcastle as part of a new parish centre, which included all the facilities required for worship, social gatherings, administration and accommodation for the clergy. The church seated 360, with space for fifty in a day chapel separated from the church by a glazed screen. The parish hall was separated from the church by a folding screen. The builder was R. W. Bell & Co. of Newcastle. The church was opened by Bishop Lindsey on 22 December 1975.
The church is orientated north-south, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation.
A multi-purpose design of 1975, of small, pale cream, rusticated bricks, the raised flat roof of the church has copper-covered felt cladding. The windows are of aluminium. The church has one high storey and an attached church extension/hall, with a timber stair from the church vestibule to three meeting rooms on the first floor. The west vestibule has timber-slatted glazed screens and doors. Inside, the sanctuary is a carpeted platform with central altar, ambo and font, made of panels of green stone with well-cut inscriptions, on a platform with three steps. The fully-glazed north wall incorporates apparently new glass in an old style, but may include some salvaged glass.
Architect: David Brown
Original Date: 1975
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed