Bellingham St Cuthbert

Year of consecration estimated 1180

Times of Services:

    Sundays
    9:30am First Sunday: Family Eucharist.
   
Second  Sunday: Common Worship Parish Communion, sung service.
   
Third Sunday Book of Common Prayer Parish Communion, sung service.
   
Fourth Sunday: Common Worship Parish Communion.
   
Fifth Sundays: alternating with the MURC Church
    11.00am Third Sunday: STARS (service for under-fives and families).   
    6:00pm Book of Common Prayer Evensong on the first Sunday of each month
    Thursdays
    9:30am Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion (Common Worship on Holy days).

Map of Bellingham Parish

The 12th Century building was built with "aisles, choir and nave of four bays, with narrow aisles on each side." The stump ends of the springers of the arcades can still be seen protruding inside at each end of the nave. A south-aisle transept was also added in the 12th Century.

By 1609, the building was a roofless ruin. During the 17th Century the present vaulted stone ceilings of the south transept and nave were built. These comprise 'Roman' vault slabs laid on heavy ribs.

In the 18th Century. External buttresses were added to the nave.

A gallery, accessed by a step-ladder, was removed some time after the mid-18th Century.

After 1843, the roofs of the choir and nave/south transept were replaced and repaired respectively, two buttresses were built against the west gable and a west window was added.

In c. 1885 floors tiles and pews were added, central heating was installed and the south doorway was blocked.

In 1926 the pipe organ was installed on the north side of the nave, displacing the pulpit from the north side to the south side.

In c. 1960 the choir stalls were removed, a new altar rail was installed, the pulpit was returned to the north side and the organ was moved from there to the south transept.

In 1996-7 there was restoration of stonework, re-plastering, repairs to the central heating system and re-wiring.

In 2008, the organ, the sound of which did not carry well from the south transept, was moved to its present position in the north-west corner of the nave.

The post-Reformation font, an octagonal stone pillar, has a wooden carved cover with metal circlet inscribed in memory of those from the parish who died in the 1939 to 1945 World War. The cover was completed in 1952, under the supervision of the Newcastle firm of architects, Edwards and Manby. The base was made by Mr Hedworth, deservedly described by the architect as “a very good craftsman” and the carving of Mary and the infant Jesus was by Mr G.M. Dudley, Department of Fine Art, King’s College, Newcastle. The total cost, including the architects’ fee, was £28.13.0d – evidently this fine piece of work was a labour of love!

There is a piscina in the south transept.

Three cannon balls were found during the work on the nave and south transept roofs after 1843.

In the churchyard, affixed to the south wall, a memorial stone (Charlton) is dated 1628. The Long (Lang) Pack tomb on the north side of the church is associated with a gruesome murder (1723). Graves and a memorial of the Fife family (1914) include the name of a former mayor of Newcastle.

The site may be that of the earlier church where St Cuthbert performed a miracle, and near 'Cuddy's Well', which St Cuthbert found and consecrated.

Subpages (1): Map of Bellingham Parish
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