Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland

Cathedral Church of St. Willibord and All Saints, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland

This very handsome church with its elegantly tall tower dates to 1789 and was built by a local architect, David Stephenson, on the site of an older church.

It is basically elliptical in shape and has excellent internal acoustics which for many years made it the venue of choice for concerts – before The Sage superseded it across the Tyne in Gateshead.

Some may consider that the fact the church is squashed between modern concrete tower blocks is a piece of terrible town planning. Rather it was done deliberately as it was considered that drivers approaching the Tyne Bridge might be distracted by the church and swerve off the road. Equally the windows have been deliberately allowed to gather a patina of soot to stop the glass breaking due to road vibration. All this makes the church look derelict, which it isn’t by any means.

The church was deconsecrated in 1961 and has been used as offices until very recently when the Old Catholic Rite Church moved into the building and they now consider it to be their cathedral church for the UK, although it is still occasionally used for concerts.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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