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News from St Chad’s Church – Bensham

Special prayers were said at St Chad’s Church Bensham, in Gateshead, on Sunday to mark the end of four months work re-roofing the nave and tower of the church.

St Chad’s is known by its octagonal tower which is lit up at night and visible from the main east coast rail line. It was opened in 1903, in High Victorian Gothic with Arts & Crafts tendencies. Inside, the church is notable for woodwork by Ralph Hedley and stained glass by Percy Bacon Bros, Leonard Walker and the suffragette Caroline Townshend. There are also artefacts made by the Newcastle Handicrafts Company.

A recent architect’s inspection revealed that the roof slates were splitting and cracking. The work entailed replacing all the slates on the nave and tower, the highest parts of the church. The work was carried out by Team Force Restoration Ltd.

The work, costing £155, was funded by grants from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Grant (£100,000), Northumbria Historic Churches Trust (£5,000), Durham Diocese Church Buildings Committee (£4,000), the National Churches Trust (£3,000) and the Allchurches Trust (£2,500). Legacies funded the rest.

The completed roof work makes the highest part of the church roof water-tight for the next 100 years. Now the church needs to raise funds to re-roof other parts of the church.

The Rector, the Revd Dr Meg Gilley, said, “St Chad’s is an amazing church, a hidden gem. We are so thankful that the work has been completed and the higher roofs are now water-tight. We are most grateful for the grants that enabled us to complete this work. ”

St Chad’s welcomes visitors. To arrange a visit, contact the Rector on 0191 478 6338.

Article Supplied by Parish


The Listed Place of Worship Roof Repair Grant is a government-sponsored fund, set up to help make the UK’s listed places of worship weathertight, safe and open for use. The programme is open for a second round of funding, with a closing date of 26 February 2016.

More information available at:

Northumbria Historic Churches Trust provides advice and small grants to help preserve the Christian heritage of the north east.

The National Churches Trust helps to repair and revitalise church buildings for the benefit of the whole community.

Information available at:

The Allchurches Trust is the grant-making arm of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Company, making grants to churches and charities to benefit people in their local communities.



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