Blackfriars Catholic Churches Partnership

St Cuthbert's, Kenton

Stained glass window showing St Cuthbert's Island

Decorative Banner showing details of St Cuthbert's life

A Brief History

St Cuthbert’s was originally based at Coxlodge, having been part of St Charles’ parish until 1939. Two months before the outbreak of war St Charles’ parish moved to Gosforth and Fr McGinn was appointed as parish priest of the now re-named St Cuthbert’s, Coxlodge. Fr McGinn was parish priest until 1946 when he was replaced by Fr James Crawford, recently returned from service as an army chaplain.

The Coxlodge premises comprised a four-classroom school serving 5 to 15 year olds. A folding screen separated off the altar and sacristy and parishioners sat at school desks or on low wooden benches.

Fr Crawford set about providing the buildings we have today, in Kenton rather than Coxlodge, to take account of the planned post-war expansion in house building. First came St Cuthbert’s Primary School in 1956 followed by St Thomas More Secondary School in 1959 (serving a catchment area which extended to Jesmond, Cowgate and Westerhope) and finally the church and presbytery in 1960.

The old school premises at Coxlodge which had served the parish so well reached the end of their useful life and were demolished to make way for St James’ church which was opened in 1976. Sadly, after only 17 years St James’ was badly in need of repair and the decision was made to close it.

St Cuthbert’s Kenton, however, remains at the centre of a growing community. Since the early 1950s there has been a steady growth of housing in Kenton, Fawdon, Montagu, Kenton Bar, Kingston Park, Redhouse Farm, Kenton Bank Foot etc. A start has recently been made on Newcastle Great Park to provide a mix of housing, the majority of which will be in St Cuthbert’s parish. With a nominal Catholic population of 5000, St Cuthbert’s has the highest estimated population in the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese according to the Northern Catholic Calendar.

In recent years the church at Kenton has been re-ordered, in effect turning the inside of the building around and providing a new Narthex and Parish Room. In 1995 a stained-glass window, designed and executed by Ralph Patterson, was provided in the sanctuary, depicting a view of St Cuthbert’s Island and the mainland from Holy Island, which St Cuthbert loved so much. A decorative banner was also designed and produced by a group of parishioners, showing our patron saint and various elements of his life. We feel sure that St Cuthbert and Fr Crawford would have approved.