St Mark & St Cuthbert, South Shields

St Mark and St Cuthbert is located at Quarry Lane, South Shields and was built in the 1960's to replace St Cuthbert's Church located off King George Road.

We are collecting people's fond memories of  both the older churches of St Cuthbert's and  St Mark and the new church of St Mark and St Cuthbert. Whether you attended the church regularly , got married or christened there or took part in any parish activities please get in touch, we would love to hear from you. Any photos would be greatly appreciated also. Please call Andrea on 0191 456 6903 .

The Parish of St Mark & St Cuthbert

The Parish of St Mark & St Cuthbert is situated within the Metropolitan Borough of South Tyneside. South Tyneside is bounded by the River Tyne to the North and the North Sea to the east with a beautiful coastline and beaches. There is easy road access to the A1(M) and A19 including the Tyne Tunnel affording easy access to Northumberland.

The Parish of Cleadon Park, St Mark & St Cuthbert, is a predominantly urban and working-class area with a 50/50 split between owner occupied and rented social housing (Bounded by A1300, A1018 and A183 ).

(map showing parish boundary)

The Parish has a population of 8,100 within a South Shields population of approximately 83,000. In recent years a large area of social housing has been cleared and a major long term building programme of mixed private and rented houses have been built. This redevelopment programme continues.

Since the demise of traditional industries of shipbuilding, coalmining and marine related occupations, unemployment remains at a high level. Cleadon Park has an unemployment figure of 22% based upon those adults receiving out of work benefits.

There is one primary school within the Parish the facilities of which have recently been improved as part of the redevelopment mentioned above. A newly purpose built Health Centre and Library was opened two years ago on the north west boundary of the Parish adjacent to the Nook shopping area of Prince Edward Road.  Close to the church is accommodation for retired/disabled people comprising a residential home and small bungalow housing.
The Parish has South Shields Golf Course within its boundary and a Public Leisure Centre on Temple Recreation Park on the parish western boundary.

A Short History of the Parish

The parish church of St Mark and St Cuthbert is one of the ‘new’ Anglican Churches in the Deanery of Jarrow being consecrated nearly 50 years ago by the then Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Dr Maurice Harland. It was built to serve the people of Cleadon Park and to replace the original parish church of St Cuthbert. This was a wooden building located on King George Road opposite Park Avenue dedicated in 1926 as a mission church.  It's simple design was designed to be welcoming to encourage parishioners from Cleadon Park area and later on the church was used as a Youth Centre and Football Changing area.

King George Road is one of the major roads out of the town today.  The King George Road Development was linked to the tramway system that had been established in the town in 1883.  In the 1920's there was a plan to develop a new housing estate called Cleadon Park and run a tramline from Sunderland Road and the church was built as a temporary structure to benefit the new community.

St Cuthberts Church

St Cuthbert's Church - Temple Park Road. Courtesy of Christopher Charlton

St Mark and St Cuthbert is located at Quarry Lane, South Shields. The new church was built in the 1960's and combined the parishes of St Mark and St Cuthbert into one.

Originally the Parish of Cleadon Park was part of All Saints, Cleadon Village and within the Wearmouth Deanery. It was not until many years later and after repeated representations to the Bishop that it was transferred to the Jarrow Deanery when the area became an Ecclesiastical District in its own right.

St Cuthbert’s became St Mark’s & St Cuthbert’s when the new church was built at its present location having ‘inherited’ the assets of the redundant church of St Mark.

St Marks
St. Mark’s was an ecclesiastical district, formed February 11th, 1873, out of Holy Trinity parish: the church, in Hardwick street, erected in 1874 at a cost of £6,000, is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles and western narthex: there are 600 sittings. The register dates from the year 1870. The vicarage was held since 1873 by the Rev. David Evans L.Th. of Durham University up until 1900's.

The New Church Building

The ‘new’ church of St Mark & St Cuthbert was consecrated on 30th September 1967 and is in a modern style, built with a central altar and congregation pews on three sides, the choir and the organ being behind the altar. The present church with attached hall is situated at the entrance to Cleadon Park on the southern edge of South Shields. It is surrounded on three sides by park land which has a small children’s play area, bowling greens and used as a popular route for walkers to gain access to Cleadon Hills and the historic water tower. Nearby is a former limestone quarry which forms a part of the parkland and which frequented by birdwatchers.

The building is of brick construction with a glazed lantern roof feature above the altar making a very light and airy interior. The lantern roof is designed to represent a Bedouin Tent supported by four laminated pillars which are unique features of the church. The church layout provides an intimate feel as the congregation and choir seating is ‘in the round’. The interior roof and lantern roof are of natural wood finish matching the pews, pulpit, tabernacle and other wood furnishings.

Princess Margaret's visit
Princess Margaret officially opened  St Mark and St Cuthbert's Youth Centre on 28  November 1967.  She was president of the Church of England Youth Council at the time of her visit.

Despite it being a damp night children lined the street on Quarry Lane awaiting her arrival. She was welcomed by Lord Lieutenant of County Durham Sir James and then was shown around the church and then to the connecting youth club.

Rev W D C Scott introduced his curate Rev E Jones and then the youth centres leaders Mr and Mrs Johnston.   Inside the centre the children continued with their activities as the Princess was walked around occasionally talking to people.  The Stax and Vent group played for the princess. The first song was Foxy Lady sung by 15 year old John McDonald.  Her visit concluded with a presentation if a bouquet by 23 year old Marjorie Johnson, assistant youth leader. 

Download Shields Gazette article about the royal visit

Fire at the Church 
On Wednesday June 6 1973 there was a fire at St Mark and St Cuthbert's Youth Club in Quarry Lane.  Rev John Maughan  estimated that the damage to the hall would cost £50,000.  That youth club was first started by Mr and Mrs Hugh Johnston in the old church hall of St Cuthbert's and kept the club running for 8 years despite the premises being burned twice in that time.

The hall was repaired but not exactly as it once was with two floors.

Photos

St Marks and St Cuthbert's Church at Quarry Lane.

 St Cuthbert's Football Club 

 St Cuthbert's Church Youth Club Tramp Dinner Night @ late 1950's

 St Cuthbert's Scout Group

The Wednesday Friendship Group celebrating 50 years of the church.

Memories of the Church

Trevor's Memories 

Trevor attended the original St Cuthbert's Youth Club and is pictured above in the Tramp Supper photo with his dog.   He thoroughly enjoyed it and also played in the football team which won the Church of England Cup in 1950's.   He was a member of the Scout Group and went on to become an assistant leader.  One of the most fondest memories Trevor has is learning to dance on the church hall by his friends father Mr Yarrow who dance like Fred Astaire. 

 

Links

More information about the church can be found at:

https://thechurchonthepark.wordpress.com