St Michael and All Angels Church, Norton

A painting of St Michaels Church from an original by Fr W.W.Lucas 1976. St Michael and all Angels was built in 1912, designed by the well known architect Temple Moore. It is the only grade II listed church in the Durham Diocese. It was never completed as the money ran out during its building and therefore the south aisle was never added.

6 thoughts on “St Michael and All Angels Church, Norton

  1. I have memories of this church where I was confirmed in 1957 and our marriage was conducted by the Rev Lucas in 1967. I remember the Rev John Lloyd Rolands well. He was a very formidable character and the church was always full to capacity for his sermons. Although I was very young, I can remember him in the pulpit on Remembrance Sunday. He had been a padre in the Great War and possibly WW2 also – and his cassock was absolutely covered with medals and medal ribbons. I believe that he had either the DSC or the MC or possibly both. The church was absolutely crowded out – something you never see today. In the congregation were youngsters, army cadets, boy scouts, girl guides, boys brigade etc. People listened spell bound to his sermon. I well remember his words when he earnestly hoped that the young people in his congregation would never see the terrible things that he had witnessed. This was serious – but he also had a very humorous quality and used to often have us laughing in the pews at his wit. When he left the Parish he was missed terribly. They don’t make ’em like that any more!.
    The Rev Davies was the next vicar and he was succeeded by the Rev Lucas. My wife and I actually got a free marriage because I de-coked his mini and ground the valves in!
    I can also remember the Sunday school teachers that we had over at the Mission Room. Mrs Crosby and Mr Dunn. Anybody remember them? From the age of about 15 until my early 20s I used to attend the Youth Club in the Mission Room.


  2. Are you the Pete Trundell who was my sons friend and attended the High Street School Norton with him? Believe you moved from the Norton area as a young boy.


  3. I remember this church well. I was a chorister there (under sufferance) for about 5 years In the late 70″s. I lived next door on the corner of Imperial Avenue and, it being a big house, we would often get starry eyed couples turning up asking for “the vicar”. The vicarage itself was about halfway down the road. I was very suprised to see Father Lucas was the illustrator of this drawing as I worked as an illustrator for some years after moving to the south of England. Fr Lucas was to develop serious deterioration of his vision later in life. While not connected directly with the church, the aforementioned house on the corner of the road, 1 Imperial Avenue, was reputedly built by a relative of Lord Nelson and was named “Burnhamthorpe” after the family seat. In the 70″s my mother ran the “Jack and Jill Nursery” pre-school in the main room and after we moved circa 1981 the house was converted to flats.


    • Pete Trundell’s remarks spark memories of the vicar Bill Lucas, and his predecessor John Rowlands, as well as of ‘the big house’ on Imperial Avenue.

      One of the problems the succession of vicars had in those years was ensuring the church services – and the sermons! – suited the needs of the ‘high, and ‘low’ factions in the congregations. The compromises usually boiled down to the strength of personality of the vicar, rather than any deep theological or liturgical strategies.

      I’m a humanist now, but I realize now that the issues and ethos of St Michael’s played a large part in my boyhood, between my years at Norton Board schools and Stockton Grammar. Born 1938, I was baptised and later confirmed in St Michael’s church, growing up in Albany Road, next door to the yard where Ken Devereux started up his haulage business. My father, Harry Freeman, was treasurer for St Michael’s parochial church council and a church warden. His father, Charlie, was for many years in charge of the church’s heating system and used to take me down into the boiler cellar which, before health and safety regulations, were filled with noxious fumes that were all part of the fun for a boy. My mother, Frances May Freeman, was a Sunday school teacher in St Michael’s ‘mission room’. Her family, the Thompsons, lived in the first house on Imperial Avenue, across the road from Pete’s house.


      • I remember you from our time in the 1st Norton cubs. Ron Huckle, Bob McConnell, Brian Hobbs, a lad who lived above the chemists shop that his father owned on the corner of Norton Rd/Victoria Avenue. I believe you moved to Junction Road from Albany Road.


        • Bob, my mam and dad stayed in Albany Road until they moved to Fairfield, by which time I’d gone to Sheffield as a student. It was my uncle George (Thompson) who moved to Junction Road.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.