About St Cuthbert's Church, Greenhead

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Orig St Cuth annotated

St Cuthbert’s Church was built as a Chapel of Ease in 1827 to 1828 during the incumbency of the Rev N J Hollingsworth. It is thanks to his passion and enthusiasm that the chapel was built.

A chapel of ease is a church building other than the main church (the parish church) of a parish. It is built to make the Church more available to parishoners who live in outlying villages. They are often associated with large manor houses, providing a convenient place of worship for the lord of the manor and his staff.

Greenhead was within the parish of Haltwhistle, but St Cuthbert's church served the rapidly increasing local population, working in the Blenkinsopp colliery, and on the construction of the Newcastle-Carlisle railway.  

Designed by the famous Newcastle architect John Dobson, it was built on land donated by the then Lord of the Manor of Blenkinsopp Colonel Coulson.

Hodgson in his “A History of Northumberland” records it building cost as being £800. Of which the Rev N J Hollingsworth contributed £200, £210 from the Society for Building Churches, £100 from the Trustees of  Lord Crewe’s Charity and £50 each from the Earl Of Carlisle, Colonel Coulson and Drs. Barrington and Van Mildert, Bishops of Durham, plus other smaller subscriptions.

The oak reredos panelling, pulpit and choir stalls are characteristic of this period.  The east window represents Christ in Majesty, King Oswald and his Queen, and some well known Northumbrian Saints of the sixth and seventh centuries.

Originally built as a four bay aisless nave with lancets and a narrow square tower. It was restored in 1880 and extended in 1900.

The Chapel was extended  in 1900 by Colonel Edward Joicey in memory of his father, also Edward. The Nave was restored, the Chancel built and the tall slender spire added.

In recent years the oak shingles of the spire have been replaced, allowing some magnificent views from the scaffolding.

A Community Arts Project has culminated in the production of new altar rail kneelers the design of which are based on the life of St Cuthbert.

© Holy Cross Church Haltwhistle 2013