A landmark Grade I (GI) listed church, All Saints in Newcastle, will be brought back into use after a decade of standing empty, a fact warmly welcome by many locals, including The Northern Echo.
The Northern Echo writes:
Historic England has awarded a grant of £135,000 towards the repair of All Saints Church. All Saints, designed by North East architect David Stephenson and built between 1786 and 1796, was the parish church for Newcastle’s Quayside until it closed in 1959. In the 1970s it was sold to Newcastle City Council and was used as a rehearsal space for the Royal Northern Sinfonia and as an urban studies centre. However, the building has been empty for almost a decade and on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register since 2012. It faced an uncertain future until Gateshead Presbyterian Church proposed re-establishing it as a place of worship and as a venue for concerts, conferences, weddings and tours by volunteer guides. The grant for urgent repairs will enable it to reopen in October.
All Saints is said to be a fine example of classical architecture, admired for its rare oval design and impressive baroque tower, which is a dominant feature of the city’s skyline. David Farrington, heritage at risk surveyor at Historic England, said: ‘All Saints is a very fine and much-loved building that has faced an uncertain future for many years. We’re absolutely delighted that the Gateshead Presbyterian Church has committed to bringing it back to life and that Historic England is able to play a part in helping to secure the building’s repair and future use.’
Reverend Dr Bill Schweitzer, of Gateshead Presbyterian Church, said: ‘We are honoured to be the stewards of one of the finest Georgian churches in the country but its restoration is clearly a major undertaking. We are deeply thankful to Historic England for the expertise that enabled us to take the first steps, and now for the substantial financial support that enables us to proceed.’