Explore the history of the Parish

Follow in the footsteps of previous generations as they gathered to worship God at St Aidan's, All Saint's and St Oswald's.

A small but vibrant Christian community where prayer has been offered for more than 754 years

In 1291 a Chapel to the Blessed Mary was founded from the estate of Sir Thomas de Herrington at West Herrington. A mass was said three times a week by a Chaplain provided by the Rector of Houghton le Spring.

This Chapel was destroyed at the time of the dissolution of the Chantries under Henry VIII

The foundation stone of an Episcopal was laid at West Herrington on the 26 September 1839 the site for which and for a Cemetery was given by the Earl of Durham. The building was erected at the cost of the Revd. E T Thurlow Rector of Houghton le Spring and was consecrated by Bishop Barbour on the 8 September 1840. 

From 1840 to 1865 the Chapel was administered from Houghton le Spring

In 1865 the District Chapelry of Newbottle was formed, the Vicar being the Revd. Blagdon. 

The District Chapelry of of Newbottle included the Chapel of West Herrington. The Vicar of Newbottle held services every Sunday morning and also on one Sunday evening in each month.

In 1884 the Parish of West Herrington was formed the first Vicar being the Revd. Patterson.

In 1885 the Collieries in the neighbourhood having expanded, made a larger Church necessary and St. Aidan’s was built on it’s current site. The land and £2000 being donated by the Earl of Durham. This Church was consecrated by Bishop Lightfoot on 19th. July 1886, the first Vicar being the Revd. T. F. Paterson.

After the completion of the new Church only Funeral services and a weekly celebration of Holy Communion were held in West Herrington until in 1919 when celebrations ceased and in 1925 the building closed entirely leaving only St. Aidan’s Church. The Bishop of Durham said that the Chapel in West Herrington must either be restored to good repair or pulled down.

The people of West Herrington never warmed to the new Church and rallied round an appeal launched by Miss McLaren of Herrington Hill to clean and restore their little Chapel once more to its former glory, which they did, to such purpose that five years later,18 September 1930 the building was re-opened.

The two churches served the community of both West and New Herrington for over 25 years until in 1953 when worship ceased at St Cuthbert’s with only funeral and wedding services being offered by arrangement.

St Aidan’s continued to be the only Church of England serving both villages until in 1986 when due to falling numbers the PCC sought advice on making the Church redundant. 

The Church Commissioners together with the PCC carried out a survey of the community and it was decided that what village needed was a community meeting centre which was suitable for worship and not a smaller Parish Church.

Four years later St. Aidan’s Parish Centre was opened as a Duel purpose building providing the village with a modern purpose built Community Centre which was suitable for Worship, Weddings and Funerals.

The Centre was opened and dedicated on the 29 April 1990 by the then Archdeacon of Durham the Venerable Michael Perry. 

The building proved to be a great success with many community organisations taking advantage of the new modern facilities whilst Church Services continued on Tuesdays and Sundays.

In January of 2000 the building was extended to provide further office and storage facilities as well as new electronic bell chime.

Following increased usage of the centre in 2010 the Coalfield Regeneration Trust awarded a grant of £100,000 towards the building of an Annexe to the centre.

In 2012 this was completed at a cost of around £180,000 and now provides a ground floor meeting room with two smaller meeting rooms on the first floor together with four large storage rooms all of which are serviced by a lift.

The Annexe was opened and dedicated on 13 March 2013 by the Venerable Stuart Bain the pioneer who over saw the original centre back in 1990 when he was Vicar of the parish.

The building now services the needs of over 350 people weekly at various meetings, with another 200 young people using the centre on Mondays and Tuesdays during the school holiday breaks. 

Regular services are held on Sundays for a small but vibrant congregation.









            St Aidan's in the background (YouTube clip)






          Same view as above (YouTube clip)


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