Elizabeth Baker, Andrew Duff, Peter Biggers review the Spirit In Stone display material set in a backdrop of Sunderland Minster.
 Elizabeth Baker, Andrew Duff, Peter Biggers review the Spirit In Stone display material set in a backdrop of Sunderland Minster.

Elizabeth Baker, Andrew Duff, Peter Biggers review the Spirit In Stone display material set in a backdrop of Sunderland Minster.

An exciting project has been launched to celebrate the rich Christian heritage of the North East of England.

Involving 125 churches of all denominations, and supported by a grant of £38,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Spirit in Stone will help churches tell the story of Christianity down the centuries via everything from displays and heritage trails to art and craft workshops. There is also a printed guide to the North’s historic churches. The project, which covers an area from north Northumberland to Darlington and south Durham, is based round eight hubs, which will in turn coordinate dozens of other churches. The hub churches are:

Durham Diocese

  • Sunderland Minster
  • St Hilda’s, Hartlepool
  • St Thomas the Apostle, Stanhope
  • St Cuthbert’s Darlington

Newcastle Diocese

  • St Aidan’s, Bamburgh
  • St Mary’s, Wooler
  • St John the Baptist, Newcastle
  • St Mary’s, Ponteland

Those churches taking part will recount stories of northern saints such as Bede and Cuthbert and the tales behind the creation of some of the region’s best-loved buildings. Project coordinator Elizabeth Baker, who has taken up the post after moving from her job as education officer at Durham Cathedral, said: “Everyone has been galvanised by the visit of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the region and it seemed a good opportunity to tell the story of the North East’s remarkable Christian heritage and of some amazing people. “I do not think a lot of visitors to the region know about the story and this project will help churches to recount the area’s great Christian heritage.” The project is being supported by Inspired North East, which is working to help achieve a sustainable future for church buildings in the North East as living places of worship, buildings used and enjoyed by local communities, welcoming places for tourists and pilgrims, and unique heritage assets. Inspired North East Development Officer (Durham Diocese), Peter Biggers, said: “Even people who worship at a church may go into the building without fully realising its fantastic heritage. This project will tell that story.” Andrew Duff, Inspired North East Development Officer (Newcastle Diocese), said: “The area has a fantastic Christian heritage which is under-recognised. The arrival of the Lindisfarne Gospels provided an opportunity to tell that story.”

Inspired North East – is a joint project between Anglican Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle and supported by English Heritage. * A PDF of the guide can be downloaded from http://spiritinstone.info

 

Share to your social accounts
Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here