On 24 August 1662, nearly two thousand dissenting clergymen were ejected from the Church of England. They had taken a principled stand against the Act of Uniformity, requiring them to use the revised Book of Common Prayer in all services and to assent to the 39 articles of faith. Many of them founded dissenting congregations of Independents, Presbyterians or Baptists. 

 Great Bavington in rural Northumberland – one of our oldest congregations, dating back to the 1600’s 

In the following three decades, they were persecuted by the state, and subjected to a barrage of legislation aimed at preventing their activities, restricting freedom of movement and barring entry to the two universities or holding civil office. Despite this, many congregations survived, meeting in secret, and after 1689 came to be tolerated. It was not until the mid-19th century that all civil disabilities were finally removed. Prior to this, for a few years in the 1670s, dissenting ministers were licensed as independent teachers, but licences were later revoked. 

Puritans and separatists of various sorts had arisen in the English church at various times during the preceding two centuries, and during the civil war and Commonwealth of the 1640s-1660, many nonconformist clergymen had ejected Episcopalian Anglicans from their parishes. With the Great Ejectment of 1662, the position was reversed. 

In the following centuries, meeting houses and chapels were built as congregations grew, becoming increasingly grand edifices by the late Victorian era. Some congregations moved around, renting or building new premises as they outgrew previous buildings. Others planted new churches in neighbouring areas. In many cases, internal disagreements led to groups separating to found their own churches. 

The latter part of the 20th century is marked by decline, with many churches closing or uniting, as falling numbers meant it was no longer possible to run so many separate congregations with their own premises. It is good to see that some of these unions have resulted in reunions of formerly separated congregations. The United Reformed Church was formed in 1972, bringing together Presbyterians and Congregationalists in one denomination, and we continue to work ecumenically in local situations. 

The following notes have been drawn up by the Synod’s Trust Officer, Andrew Atkinson, tracing the history of some of our current United Reformed Church congregations to the original dissenting groups. Most of this information is drawn from denominational yearbooks and locally produced historical booklets, and these are acknowledged below. There are many gaps, particularly in the early period when there were few written records or church buildings. Although these can never hope to be complete or indeed fully accurate, it is hoped that these brief historical sketches will be of interest. 

scroll down for more histories 

ALNWICK: St James’s (Presbyterian) 

1662   Revd Gilbert Rule ejected from St Michael’s Parish Church.  Dissenters met in secret in private houses until 1689 

1689   Meeting house founded in Pottergate 

1694   First recorded minister, Revd Dr Johnathan Harle (died 1729) 

1731  Sion Congregational Church broke away following dispute over calling Dr Harle’s son, Revd Johnathan Harle to succeed him as minister (closed early 20th century) 

1769  (Revd John Calder drew up first trust deed for the meeting house and manse property, which is still held by the current trustee as its root of title) 

1838  Pottergate meeting house altered and enlarged 

1848  First written use of the name St James’s 

1888  Joined by Lisburn Street Presbyterian Church (founded in 1837 in affiliation to the Scottish Secessionist Relief Church) 

1895  Church rebuilt on slightly enlarged site in late Gothic style 

1904  Manse converted into halls for Sunday School 

1955  Joined by Clayport Presbyterian Church (founded in 1753 in affiliation to the Scottish Secessionist Associate or Burgher Church) 

[A History of St James’s United Reformed Church Alnwick © 1988 Jane Straker] 

AMBLE: St Mark’s (Congregational)

[For the origins of St Mark’s Church, see Warkworth] 

1837  Warkworth United Presbyterian Church founded a Sabbath School in a cottage in Gibson Street, Amble 

1846  The Sabbath School applied to Presbytery for preachers, but without success, so was instead adopted as a Congregational missionary station, with a Mr Wood as its first home missionary 

1848  A chapel was built in Gloster Terrace, Amble, when the missionary station became a full church 

1894  A new church was built in Wellwood Street, in Gothic revival style 

1933  The Brown Memorial Hall was built in memory of Mr & Mrs George Brown (who had built the church), in the late twentieth century it was leased out as flats, named St Mark’s Court 

[A Hundred Years of Congregationalism in Amble 1848-1948 © 1948 Annie I Phillips; and other sources] 

BELLINGHAM (Presbyterian) 

1804  A Presbyterian congregation was formed at Bellingham out of the existing Falstone congregation (see Falstone & Kielder) 

1806  A chapel was built in Bellingham; later chapels were built in 1856, 1883 and 1897 

1982  Bellingham United Reformed Church united with Bellingham Methodist Church, continuing to use the URC premises 

[Bellingham Methodist United Reformed Church: A Centenary Celebration 1897-1997, © 1997 Bellingham Methodist United Reformed Church;; and other sources] 

BERWICK (Presbyterian) 

1662  Revd Luke Ogle ejected from Berwick Parish Church 

1687  Revd Luke Ogle returned and preached in Berwick until his death in 1696, Presbyterian services took place in the grammar school until 1719 

1719  Low Meeting house opened off Hide Hill; other meeting houses opened off High Street (High Meeting, 1724), in Chapel Street (Middle Meeting, 1756), in Golden Square (1796), and off Church Street (1812) 

1745  During the Jacobite rebellion, Berwick town gates were closed on Sundays, so St Paul’s Church of Scotland was opened in Spittal for Presbyterians south of the Tweed 

1835  Following disagreement over the rival ministerial candidates to the Middle Meeting, a group broke away and in 

1836  built Zion Chapel in Bankhill, but that congregation dissolved in 1852 

1838  (The Low Meeting became connected with the Church of Scotland) 

1852  Following a dispute in the Low Meeting, over that congregation’s connection with the Church of Scotland after the Great Disruption of 1843, the majority left Hide Hill and bought the Bankhill chapel; (the minority later became St Andrew’s Church of Scotland) 

1997  Bankhill united with St Paul’s 

2000  Former Presbyterian churches at Horncliffe (founded 1853) and Norham (founded c1737) united with Berwick; church buildings at Bankhill, Horncliffe and Norham sold; St Paul’s church and Horncliffe church hall were retained for worship 

[Bankhill Church Berwick-upon-Tweed 1835-1960, © 1960 K G White; and other sources] 

CROOKHAM (Presbyterian) 

1697  Presbyterian church founded at Etal 

1732  A group from Etal founded a church in Crookham 

1745  A church was built in Crookham, following an argument with the landowner at Etal about driving cattle on the Sabbath 

1932  The church at Crookham was rebuilt 

1949  Etal joined Crookham 

[;; and other sources] 

FALSTONE & KIELDER (Presbyterian) 

1660  Presbyterians retained the ruined medieval parish church at Falstone; (St Peter’s Parish Church was built to replace it in 1725) 

1709  Falstone chapel built on medieval church site; rebuilt 1807 and 

1876  with a tower in Gothic style 

1735  chapel built at Waterhead, Kielder (now a hayshed), and linked with Falstone 

1804  A Presbyterian congregation was established at Bellingham (see Bellingham) 

1874  Kielder chapel built in Romanesque style; the two churches ran as a joint pastorate 

1904  (A chapel was built at Lanehead, Tarset, for use by the Presbyterians and Methodists in the area; it closed in 1979) 

[Kelly’s Trade Directory, 1910;;;;;;; and other sources] 

GLANTON  (Presbyterian) 

1662  The ejected vicar of Whittingham continued to preach in the area until the passing of the Five Mile Act 

1691  (or 1701) Presbyterian church founded in Branton 

1720  A church was built at Branton 

1781  A group from Branton founded a church in nearby Glanton, built in 1783 

1912  Glanton church building was internally remodelled 

1978  Branton and Glanton reunited; the Branton premises were subsequently sold, and Glanton later took the name St Andrew’s to distinguish it from an Anglican guest congregation 

[Branton and Glanton United Reformed Church – Two Hundred Years © c1984 Alan Beith MP/
& Glanton United Reformed Church; and other sources] 

HEXHAM: St Aidan’s   (Presbyterian) 

1672  Dissenter Revd Joseph Gill licensed to preach at Stocksfield (outside the 5 mile legal limit of any towns) 

1689  The Act of Toleration allowed Joseph Gill to return to Hexham 

1702  First written evidence of a dissenting congregation meeting in a private house in Hexham; Joseph Gill was its first minister until his death in 1709 

1716  A meeting house was built in Gilesgate 

1740  (Following disagreement over the calling of a minister, a minority broke away to form Bankhead Church of Scotland, rejoining in 1806) 

1786  The Gilesgate meeting began drawing its ministers from the Church of Scotland 

1825  A new church was built in Hencotes, called the Scotch Church 

1831  Following disagreement over the calling of a minister, a majority broke away to form a new Presbyterian church, affiliated to the Scottish United Secession Church, meeting first in the Moot Hall and then in Cockshaw 

1839  The United Secession Church bought the Gilesgate meeting house from the Wesleyans 

1864  The United Presbyterian Church (as it by then was) built a new church in Battle Hill, which was extended in 

1883  to enlarge the Sunday School building 

1883  The Scotch Church rejoined the Battle Hill Church 

1903  The Hencotes site was bought from the Church of Scotland, and further land was added in 1908, and in 1909 Hencotes Hall could be built next to the old Scotch Church 

1949  The congregation moved from Battle Hill (which had been sold) to Hencotes Hall 

1952  The name of St Aidan’s was adopted 

1960  The old Scotch Church was demolished and made into a car park, and Hencotes Hall was converted into a church 

[A History of the Origins and Life of St Aidan’s Presbyterian Church in Hexham 1702-1972 © 2002 John C Hall] 

HORSLEY (Congregational) 

1662  Revd Thomas Trewent ejected from Ovingham St Mary’s Parish Church, and held secret services in the attic of a house in Horsley village that later became the Manse 

1890  The adjoining church was built in Gothic revival style in the Victorian era 

2002  he church set out to be a church for the whole village 

[Horsley Village Church: Celebrating 350 Years of Christian Faith in Horsley 1662-2012
© 2012 Horsley United Reformed Church; and other sources] 

LONGFRAMLINGTON  (Presbyterian) 

1662  Presbyterian church founded, out of a Nonconformist congregation meeting at Swarland Old Hall since 1640 

1667  Presbyterian meeting house built at Hole House Farm, Longframlington 

1739  meeting house built in Longframlington 

1854  chapel rebuilt 

[;; and other sources 

LOW ROW  (Congregational)  

1690  (approximately) Philip, Lord Wharton, built a Dissenters’ meeting house near to Smarber Hall in Swaledale 

1809  Smarber church moved to a new chapel built at Low Row 

1867  Low Row church declared Congregational, as previously it had tended to be Presbyterian 

1874  Low Row chapel was enlarged 

[A Church Renewed © 1974 Low Row United Reformed Church; Dissent in the Two Dales 1662-2012 © 2012 Elizabeth Conran; and other sources]

MORPETH: St George’s (Presbyterian) 

1693  Revd Dr Jonathan Harle was ordained as the first minister at Morpeth, although ejected Presbyterian ministers had been active in the countryside west of the town since 1662 

1706  Dr Harle also ministered at Alnwick, and from 1706 focussed on that church 

1721  A meeting house was built in Cottingwood Lane 

1829  Following a dispute over the calling of a minister, the minority broke away to form a Congregational Church, meeting in a chapel in the Back Riggs 

1860  The Presbyterians built a new church on Bridge Street in Early English style with an octagonal spire and clock 

1898  The Congregationalists built a new church in Dacre Street 

1963  Bridge Street church was subdivided to make halls 

1977  Dacre Street church closed 

[A History of St George’s Church, Morpeth © 1993 Eric B Ross; and other sources] 

NEWCASTLE: St James’s (Congregational) 

1662  Revd Dr William Durant (Independent) and Revd Dr Richard Gilpin (Presbyterian) ejected from Parish Churches in Newcastle, which they had shared during the Commonwealth; and held secret services in their homes 

1672  Independent teaching licences permitting services to be held legally were granted to eight Dissenting ministers in Newcastle, including Dr Durant, Dr Gilpin and Revd George Bendall, the last of which is still in the church’s possession 

1684  Two secret Dissenting meetings were established in malt lofts, at Silver Street (predominantly Presbyterian) and Postern (predominantly Independent), both ministered to by Drs Durant and Gilpin 

1744  (approximately) Silver Street malt loft rebuilt as a Presbyterian Meeting House, drawing its ministers exclusively from the Church of Scotland 

1745  Revd George Ogilvie was first recorded minister at Silver Street, no written records having been kept of the earlier period 

1797  Postern malt loft rebuilt as a Congregational Chapel [see West End URC for further history of this chapel] 

1820  A group broke away from Postern and met in Zion Methodist Chapel in Westgate 

1826  The Silver Street congregation moved out to Blackett Street, where a new chapel was built in the heart of the redeveloped city centre 

1832  The Zion lease ended, and those Congregationalists joined Blackett Street, along with a further group from Postern 

1833  Blackett Street church then became Congregationalist, and became known as St James’s 

1839  (St James’s opened a Sunday school at Gibson Street, Pandon, which became a church in its own right in 1894; it closed in the mid-twentieth century and members rejoined St James’s) 

1859  St James’s Chapel was rebuilt 

1882  (St James’s was instrumental in founding Heaton Congregational Church, which had begun in 1876 as a Sunday school; it closed in 1957 and members rejoined St James’s; Park Road Congregational Church in Wallsend was founded in 1902 also in part from St James’s) 

1884  St James’s built a larger Gothic-style cruciform church with a spire as a “Nonconformist Cathedral” on part of the old County Cricket Ground in Bath Road (now called Northumberland Road) 

[300 Years – The Story of St James’s © 1984 Dame Muriel Stewart; and other so 

NEWCASTLE:  West End (Congregational) 

 1662  Revd Dr William Durant (Independent) and Revd Dr Richard Gilpin (Presbyterian) ejected from Parish Churches in Newcastle, which they had shared during the Commonwealth; and held secret services in their homes 

1672  Independent teaching licences permitting services to be held legally were granted to eight Dissenting ministers in Newcastle, including Dr Durant, Dr Gilpin and Revd George Bendall, the last of which is still in the church’s possession 

1684  Two secret Dissenting meetings were established in malt lofts, at Silver Street (predominantly Presbyterian) and Postern (predominantly Independent), both ministered to by Drs Durant and Gilpin 

1797  Postern malt loft rebuilt as a Congregational Chapel 

1820  A group broke away from Postern and met in Zion Methodist Chapel in Westgate, before joining St James’s in 

1832  along with another group from Postern [see St James’s] 

1836  The area around the Postern was redeveloped for the railway, and the congregation moved to West Clayton Street 

1853  Some members left West Clayton Street, meeting first in the Zion chapel, then at Tuthill Stairs, before moving into a disused Anglican chapel, St Paul’s, Arthur’s Hill in 1855 

1861  (approximately, some members left West Clayton Street and joined St James’s owing a disagreement over the minister’s doctrinal stance) 

1898  West Clayton Street Church moved out further to Beech Grove Road 

1931  West End Church was built in Lanercost Drive, to replace Beech Grove, Bath Lane and St Paul’s, Arthur’s Hill Congregational Churches 

[300 Years – The Story of St James’s © 1984 Dame Muriel Stewart; and other sources] 

NORTH SHIELDS:  St Columba’s (Presbyterian) 

 1662  Revd Alexander Gordon ejected from Tynemouth St Mary’s Parish Church; Revd John Lomax, ejected rector of Wooler, came and preached in secret to the Dissenters in North Shields 

1672  Mr Lomax was licensed as an Independent teacher, but the licence was revoked two years later, and in 1682 he was arrested and fined for keeping a conventicler and preaching contrary to statute, but he continued to preach until his death in 1693 

1689  After the Act of Toleration, a meeting house was opened in Thorntree Lane, and by 1723 a larger meeting house had been opened off Bell Street 

1757  Following a disagreement over the calling of a Unitarian minister, the majority broke away and rented a room by the Wooden Bridge, and affiliated to the Church of Scotland 

1759  The Scotch Church built a new High meeting house on the Ropery Banks above the old town 

1810  The Scotch Church built a larger chapel in Howard Street, in the new town 

1817  (Following a disagreement over the calling of a minister, the minority broke away and built St Andrew’s Congregational Chapel in Camden Street, which closed in 1947) 


The Howard Street Presbyterian Church united with a former Anti-Burgher Presbyterian Church in Northumberland Square (founded 1779, built 1857 in Palladian style, halls rebuilt 1926), and took the name “St Columba’s” 

1954  St Columba’s planted All Saints’ Church in Verne Road, West Chirton 

1973  St Columba’s united with St Andrew’s former Congregational Church, Stephenson Street (founded 1870) 

1980  All Saints’ reunited with St Columba’s, the building closing for worship in 1986, to be redeveloped as affordable flats by a registered social landlord set up by the Northumberland Square Church in 1929 

2007  St Columba’s church and hall were refurbished, replacing some of the pews with more comfortable chairs, adding new rooms above the kitchen to make up for selling outlying parts of the building, and installing lifts 

[St Columba’s: Fifty Years and More 1949-1999 © 1998-2007 Andrew Atkinson;
The Story of the Howard Street Presbyterian Church, North Shields © 1912 Revd Andrew Fallon; and other sources]  

ROKER  (Congregational) 

[For the origins of Roker Church, see Stockton Road, Sunderland] 

1794  Following a disagreement in the Monkwearmouth “Park” Chapel in Ropery Lane or Rope Walk, a group broke away to found a Congregational Church; they bought a former Masonic Lodge on Palmer’s Hill, so were known as the “Lodge” Chapel 

1815  A new chapel was built in Broad Street (later known as Roker Avenue), called “Salem” 

1830  Following a dispute over the building debt, the congregation was locked out by the trustees 

1832  A new chapel was built in Dundas Street 

1870  (Following disagreement over the calling of a Primitive Methodist minister, a group broke away and founded “Ebenezer” Congregational Church, believed to have been in Eden Street (now known as Bartram Street), Fulwell) 

1904  A new church was built in Roker Baths Road 

1976  Roker united with St Stephen’s former Presbyterian Church in Side Cliff Road (founded 1910) to form Roker United Reformed Church 

[The Roker Congregational Church © 1977 Revd Fred H Hawkins;
From Stable to Steeple © 1952 W S G Johnstone;
St George’s, Sunderland: Churches and People in a Presbyterian Story © 1997 Revd John C Durell;
The History of the Presbytery of Durham © 1973 Revd Fred H Hawkins; and other sources] 

ROTHBURY (Congregational) 

1713  Presbyterian church founded at Harbottle 

1799  Harbottle founded a church at Thropton 

1835  Congregational church founded at Rothbury 

1842  Congregational church built at Rothbury West End 

1896  new Congregational church built in Gothic style with a central turret, in Rothbury Market Place 

1981  Harbottle joined Thropton 

2011  Thropton joined Rothbury 

[1835-1985 Rothbury United Reformed Church 150th Anniversary © 1985 Samuel Appleton Thubron;
Rothbury United Reformed Church 1985-1995 © 1985 Rothbury United Reformed Church; and other sources] 

SOUTH SHIELDS:  St Paul & St John’s (Presbyterian) 

658  Revd Thomas Lupton (a Presbyterian) had been Vicar of St Hilda’s Parish Church c1645; (Revd John Lomax, Presbyterian minister at North Shields, may have preached also south of the river) 

1666  Dissenters meetings took place in a house at Lay Farm, South Shields 

1672  A house in West Pans was licensed for Dissenters’ worship 

1688  Revd William Chilton called as the first regular Presbyterian minister at South Shields 

1718  The Low Meeting House was built at the head of Mile End Road 

1778  Following disagreement over the calling of a minister, the minority broke away and in 1789 built a Presbyterian Church in Heugh Street 

1833  An assistant appointed alongside an elder minister led a second breakaway group, who built a new church in Saville Street 

1842  The Low Meeting joined Saville Street, and took the name “St John’s” 

St John’s established a preaching station at Jarrow, which became a Presbyterian Church in the late nineteenth century 

1858  Heugh Street congregation built a new church in Mile End Road 

1877  St John’s built a new church in Beach Road, in French-Gothic style 

1942  Mile End Road Church reunited with St John’s 

1968  St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Westoe Road, united with St John’s 

[St John’s Presbyterian Church of England, South Shields – Tercentenary Year Book 1662-1962 © 1962 William B Robertson/St John’s Presbyterian Church of England;
One Name © 1987 William B Robertson/Miss A L Turnbull/former members of Mile End Road Presbyterian Church of England; and other sources] 

STAMFORDHAM (Presbyterian) 

1662  Revd John Owens ejected from Stamfordham Parish Church; he continued to take Presbyterian services thereafter in private houses in the area, being arrested and fined on one occasion 

1672  A house in Dalton was licensed for Presbyterian meetings 

1686  Revd John Dysart was ordained as the first regular minister at the Stamfordham Meeting at Dalton 

1741  The congregation moved back to Stamfordham, where a meeting house and manse were built 

1843  At the time of the Great Disruption in the Church of Scotland, the congregation at Stamfordham affiliated to the United Secession Church, which became the United Presbyterian Church in 1876 

1855  The church was forced to vacate its premises, as the lease had expired; the congregation met in a succession of private houses for a few years 

1863  Another house in Stamfordham was obtained, and converted to a church 

1917  (Stamfordham was joined with Great Bavington and Ryal Waterloo until 1935, continuing to worship on all three sites) 

1937  (Stamfordham and Ryal were linked with Newburn and Black Callerton until 1943, Ryal church closing in 1942) 

2005  Stamfordham United Reformed Church united with Stamfordham Methodist Church, meeting in the refurbished Methodist premises as the Church on the Green 

[A Goodly Heritage © 1984 Revd David Robert Hannen; and other sources] 

SUNDERLAND:  Stockton Road (Presbyterian) 

1661  Revd William Graves ejected from Bishopwearmouth Parish Church; in the 1670s several individuals were summonsed for attending conventicles 

1711  A Dissenters’ meeting house was built in the back garden of its minister, Revd George Wilson, near the Corn Market in Sunderland 

1736  Following a disagreement over singing Isaac Watts’ hymns, some members broke away, meeting at first in a room in Pewterer’s Lane, and calling a Church of Scotland minister, Revd John Brown 

1739  The Pewterer’s Lane congregation built a meeting house in Robinson’s Lane 

1777  Robinson’s Lane, known as the “Scotch Church”, founded a Presbyterian congregation in Monkwearmouth, meeting latterly at North Bridge Street, which closed in 1961 

1794  Following a disagreement in the Monkwearmouth Church, a group broke away to found what became Roker Church [See Roker] 

1817  A group wishing to call alternately Presbyterian and Independent ministers broke away to build Bethel Congregational Chapel in Villiers Street 

1825  The Scotch Church moved from Robinson’s Lane, also to Villiers Street, taking the name “St George’s” 

1851  A group from Bethel found Ebenezer Congregational Chapel in Fawcett Street 

1859  St George’s founded a mission in Ropery Lane, later moving to Hartley Street, which ran until 1968 

1883  St George’s founded another mission, in Norman Street in Hendon, which ran until 1960 

1883  Ebenezer built a new church at Grange, Stockton Road 

1889  St George’s built a new church in Belvedere Road in Gothic style with a distinctive lantern tower 

1897  St George’s installed its first organ 

1963  Trinity & St James’ Presbyterian Church united with St George’s 

1968  The Union Congregational Church, of The Royalty, united with Grange 

2008  West Park and St George’s reunited as “Stockton Road” 

[St George’s, Sunderland: Churches and People in a Presbyterian Story
© 1997 Revd John C Durell; and other sources] 

WARKWORTH  (Presbyterian) 

 1662  Revd Archibald Moor ejected from St Lawrence’s Parish Church, Warkworth; thereafter Dissenters are believed to have met in secret and then in members’ houses 

1722  Revd William Archbold retired to Warkworth and preached to the Presbyterian Dissenters 

1780  A house was converted for use as a meeting house 

1786  Revd Thomas McKaine ministered to the Warkworth Presbyterians until 1827, after which they affiliated to the Scottish United Secession Church 

1828  The church was built in the Butts at Warkworth, which was extended in 1860, and a hall added behind in 1934 

1837  A Sabbath School was founded in Amble, which in 1848 became St Mark’s Congregational Church [See Amble] 

[The United Reformed Church Warkworth 1828-1978 © 1978 Revd Leonard Sherratt;
A Hundred Years of Congregationalism in Amble 1848-1948 © 1948 Annie I Phillips; and other sources] 

WIDDRINGTON (Presbyterian) 

 1662  Revd Thomas Lupton ejected from Woodhorn Parish Church; Dissenters in the area met in secret during the following years 

1708  Revd John Horsley succeeded Revd Dr Jonathan Harle as Presbyterian minister in Morpeth, and ministered also in the surrounding area, spending some time in Widdrington; a regular monthly meeting continued in the village after his death in 1732 

1761  Revd Alexander Stevenson was ordained as the first minister of Widdrington Presbyterian congregation 

1765  a Presbyterian church was built in Widdrington, and a gallery added in 1829 

1894  a new church with a spire was built in Gothic style on the opposite side of the road to the old one, using some of the stone from the former building 

1905  a church was founded at Red Row, Broomhill, which was linked with the Widdrington congregation until its closure in 1942, when many of its members rejoined Widdrington 

[Presbyterian Church of England, Widdrington 1765-1965 © 1965 J Alexander Gordon & George E Gordon;
A History of St George’s Church, Morpeth © 1993 Eric B Ross; and other sources] 

WOOLER (Presbyterian) 

 1662  Revd John Lomax ejected from Wooler Parish Church; secret Dissenters’ meetings took place in the surrounding countryside in the years that followed 

1688  Dissenters were able to worship more freely after the Act of Toleration 

1698  A house at Chatton was registered for Nonconformist worship 

1702  The congregation was established in Wooler, and shared ministry with the churches at Branton, Etal and Barmoor (later Lowick) 

1706  Revd Thomas Bone became the first Dissenting minister at Wooler; a meeting house was built in South Lane (now called Cheviot Street) 

1729  Doctrinal differences led to the establishment of the West Chapel 

1778  A new church was built in Cheviot Street to replace the old one; further differences led to the establishment of a third Presbyterian church in Wooler, at Tower Hill 

1886  The Cheviot Street church was improved, with a smaller gallery, stained glass windows and a small pipe organ; at some point, mock battlements and a tower were added, later topped by a spire 

1903  Tower Hill church reunited with Cheviot Street 

1952  The West church reunited with Cheviot Street 

1985  A disused Methodist chapel in Cheviot Street was bought and made into the Glendale Hall, providing a useful centre for the whole community 

[Wooler United Reformed Church 1688-1988 A Short History © 1988 Revd S C Moore; and other sources] 



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