Parish Church 300th Anniversary


Today, 21 August 2012, marks the 300th Anniversary of the consecration of Stockton’s Parish Church.  Although often referred to as the Parish Church of St Thomas, there is no evidence to suggest the church was ever dedicated to any patron saint. 
The foundation stone was laid on 5th June 1710, at the south eastern corner of the church. Built between 1710-1712, the church was officially opened on 20th March 1712 by Reverend Thomas Rudd and consecrated on 21st August 1712  by Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham. 
Although originally part of the parish of Norton, Stockton became a separate parish with effect from 24th June, 1713 under an Act of Parliament of 1711. The chancel was rebuilt in 1906 and the side chapel was added in 1925. The church is a grade I listed building.
At one time it was thought that the church had been designed by Sir Christopher Wren following the discovery of what turned out to be a very elaborate hoax document found in the Parish registry.   A forensic examination of the document showed that the paper was contemporary with the period, but tests on the ink used proved the document to be a forgery.

6 thoughts on “Parish Church 300th Anniversary

  1. Thank you for this picture and the information. My Great Grandmother Mary Rutherford was baptized at St. Thomas Parish Church 25 Sep 1842. Thomas, her Father was a Shipwright and her Mother, Sarah had the maiden name of Butler.


    • How interesting. I’m researching my family history and found out my Great Grandmother, Matilda Matthewman was baptised at this church on 23 Feb 1845. Perhaps Mary and Matilda knew each other.


  2. Significant part of our history, met Lesley Haworth at the vicarage (16 plus group) in Yarm Road after the evening service in the Parish Church. I sang in the choir, including an early broadcast “Songs of Praise” and married Lesley here in 1970. Canon Charles Noel Wardle Harpur officiated, and Rev John Murray Hope Gibson was a friendly curate.


  3. I was a worshipping member of Stockton Parish Church from 1942, after confirmation prepared in a group of Stockton Grammar Schoolboys by the Vicar R T Heselton to after my marriage to Pat Heliewell in July 1957 in the Parish Church. We moved then to Rugby where I had a new teaching post in a fine new C of E Secondary School. After Army service ended in late 1948 I was back at the Parish Church and was a leader of the early teenage members of the Sunday School and also served on the PCC.
    The church then had a good congregation and a good choir including young adults.


  4. I was married here on Friday 6 Feb 1970, I visited the church on a number of occasions since then, when travelling back from Australia for holidays. A great building for Stockton and a constant reminder of what the High Street used to be built around, great buildings and lovely people.


  5. Very interesting. I among many others were christened there, but didn’t know the history, it was always just the Parish Church in Stockton. I haven’t lived in Stockton for 48 years but still keep in touch via this site, thank you for that.


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