Building » South Shields – Sacred Heart

South Shields – Sacred Heart

New Road, Boldon Colliery, Tyne and Wear NE35

A plain interwar church with Romanesque details which has been extended and reordered over the years.

The Catholic population of the Boldons increased once the pit was sunk in 1896 and the village of Boldon Colliery established (in addition to the older villages East and West Boldon). A Mass centre was established in 1896 and a colliery house in Wells Row was converted into a small chapel holding sixty five people. The house was rented for a peppercorn rent from the Harton Cole Company.

In 1936, Boldon Colliery became an independent parish and land was bought on the New Road to build a larger church. The church and house were built in 1937-38 at a cost of £3,500. The foundation stone for the church was laid by Bishop Hogan on 19 June 1937. It was constructed by the builder and contractor John Cummings of Sunderland.

Plans for a hall and school were put on hold by the outbreak of the Second World War. The hall was built in the 1960s by voluntary labour but the plans for the school were never realised. In 2003, the hall and some of the land reserved for the school were sold. The same year, the church was refurbished, a new porch added and the presbytery converted into a flat above a social hall, with a new link building connecting it to the church.


The church faces north. This description follows conventional liturgical orientation.

The church is a steel-framed building with red brick walls in stretcher bond. The main pitched roof is tiled. The plan is rectangular with an apse. The west front is gabled and half-hexagonal on plan i.e. with splayed sides. A square narthex to the west of this was added later; it contains additional seating.

Inside, at the west end of the nave stands the marble font, a circular bowl on an octagonal stem. Nave and apse are lit by pairs of round-headed windows. The nave has a segmental barrel vault supported by steel pillars encased in timber. Under the organ gallery are the gallery stairs and a confessional. Beside the entrance to the sacristy at the northeast are statues of the Holy Family. The sanctuary is lit by four pairs of round-headed windows. The sanctuary furnishings are all of marble. At the southeast is a niche with a statue of the Sacred Heart. The foundation stone is set into the north wall of the sanctuary. The Stations of the Cross are unframed painted casts.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established; builder John Cummings of Sunderland

Original Date: 1938

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed