Our churches are rich in architecture and decorative arts. Whether you simply enjoy the pleasure of lovely places and visual delights, or have an eye for the finer points of building styles, monuments and art in glass, wood or stone, there is plenty to wonder at and enjoy.
The medieval period is well represented, including stone carvings of the Magi at St Gregory’s at Kirknewton, tombs and figures of warrior families at St Peter’s in Chillingham, St Mary’s in Staindrop, and the “Lumley Warriors” at St Mary and St Cuthbert’s in Chester-le-Street - to name just a few!
Church windows are colourful story-books! Here is a short video introduction to church windows - made for children but rather fun for anyone to enjoy!
The art of glass has a very long history - indeed first stained glass in England was produced in the 7th century at the former monastery at St Peter’s in Monkwearmouth. Look for local saints, heroes and Bible stories – some familiar, others mysterious to modern eyes. Magnificent modern work is well worth seeing, for example Hexham Abbey’s “Tyrrell Window” (2012) and the new “Hartley Memorial” windows (2013) at St Alban’s Church in Earsdon.
Other artistic gems include the Arts and Crafts splendours of St. Andrew’s in Roker, St George’s in Jesmond, Newcastle, and St Chad’s in Gateshead, and contemporary sculpture by Fenwick Lawson: “The Journey” at St Mary’s, Lindisfarne and “Christ Ascending” at St Michael & All Angels at Houghton-le-Spring. Some churches host regular art events, including the Sanctuary Artspace at St Edmund’s in Gateshead and St Augustine’s in Alston, Cumbria.