Opportunity to see new church facility

The Rector of Morpeth, Rev Simon White.
The Rector of Morpeth, Rev Simon White.

Residents can see how a major project at a Morpeth church is progressing at a special event on Saturday.

Work is well under way on the second phase of the extension scheme at St Aidan’s Church in Stobhill. When complete, it will be a community room hub for groups and activities.

The Anglican parish of Morpeth has decided to show people the inside of the new facility at an event that will also mark 60 years since the foundation stone was laid for the building on Shields Road.

The Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Frank White, will be attending and he will say a few words.

In the first phase, the outer shell and the car park was constructed – the car park’s final layer will be put in place shortly before the extension opens.

The second phase mainly involves interior works and the parish is currently getting together funds for phase three, the white goods, equipment and furniture such as tables and chairs.

The Rector of Morpeth, Simon White, said: “The interior works are not completely finished, but it’s a good opportunity for us to show the community what it will look like because it should be completed in six weeks’ time.

“Hopefully, the new community worker for the facility and the lady who was first to be married at the church will attend the event.

“We’re delighted that the fund-raising has gone so well, as it has enabled us to make good progress with the project. We’re grateful to all the organisations and individuals that have supported us, including the parishioners who have contributed through the buy-a-brick initiative.

“The facility will be a beacon for the community and its ergonomic design will make it cheaper and more efficient to run. The aim is that it will be open seven days a week.”

A significant amount of the funding has come from the sale of the parish hall on Grange Road. The site is set to be converted into a few housing units.

Rev White said the parish hall has been more costly to run in recent years because it needs a lot of maintenance.

The event will run from 10.30am to 3pm and there will be a strawberry tea, a tombola, stalls and plenty of refreshments, including cakes.

There will also be Messy Church activities for young children, and local Rainbows, Brownies and Boys’ Brigade groups will be present.