The Parish of St. Bede, Newsham and St. Mary the Virgin Horton
The story of Saint Bede’s began when the Vicar of Horton appointed a curate to look after New Delaval and Newsham in 1885. This was the Rev’d David Bryson, who realized that while the free churches had built chapels in the village, Anglicans were expected to walk across the fields to the Parish Church of St Mary, Horton. He approached the owners of the Richard and William Pits, the Seaton Delaval Coal Company, who donated the necessary bricks and building materials, and a piece of land at the west end of Middle Row and North Row in New Delaval Colliery (now Blyth Golf Course). This was dedicated on 15th February, 1892, and was of a similar design to St Andrew’s Cambois and St Michael’s New Hartley, which are still standing.
By 1920 the church proved to be inadequate, and the congregation moved to an army hut on Newcastle Road, almost opposite land donated by Lord Ridley for the construction of a new church. The original building continued to serve as a church hall, until the new church and parsonage (now the Parish Centre and Vicarage) were completed in 1930. The bricks from the original church were used on the internal walls of the new buildings. In 1931 a declaration of the King in Council established Newsham as a “conventional district” within the Parish of Horton, and its curate became a “priest-in-charge.” During the Second World War the choir vestry was requisitioned by the Air Raid Prevention and Father Graham became an A.R.P. warden.
After the war it was felt that St Bede’s was ready to become an independent parish, but it wasn’t until December 14th, 1957, that the present Parish Church was consecrated, and Father Luxmoore (later Bishop of Bermuda) became the first Vicar of Newsham.
Very few items from the first church remain. The original altar cross is used in the chapel of a local funeral director. The original statue of Our Lady is still carried in procession on Our Lady’s feasts. A small plaque of the Mother and Child can still be found in the present Lady Chapel. The original tabernacle veil now serves as a pulpit fall. The original portable font, so necessary in the days of home births and high natal fatalities, is now the holy water stoup.
From 1957 the “third church” continued in use as a church hall. In 1991 it was refurbished to become a modern parish centre, and in 2004 it was improved and extended, with the help of a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, to improve our facilities for the disabled. In 2002 a ramp for the disabled was added to the church to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen.
The church is normally open for private prayer from Tuesday to Friday during the day, services are held daily, and the Church Family is lively, welcoming, and active. St Bede’s has always stood firmly within the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England, and combines a dignified ceremonial with a modern and homely liturgy.
The Parchial Church Council has passed resolutions A, B, and "C", and the parish is under the extended episcopal care of the Bishop of Beverley.