St. Cuthbert's Church - Marley Hill
St.Cuthbert's Church at Marley Hill was built in Gothic Style in 1877 and was capable of seating 254 persons. It was built at a cost of £3000, was paid for by Public Subscription and was consecrated by the Bishop of Durham on 15th November of that year, whereupon the Ecclesiastical District automatically became a Parish.
Previously services were held in the old Methodist mission. When the Wesleyans vacated their old chapel in 1870, the Church of England began to use the former mission for Sunday worship only; the building being used as a National School from Monday to Friday. The original mission had a communion table, font, pulpit, harmonium, and a vestry partitioned off by curtains to suit the needs of Church of England services.
The first recorded baptism took place on 18th November 1877. The first burial was on 17th December 1877 and the first marriage, William Spencer Telford to Mary Gray Thirlaway was on the 16th of January 1878.
There are three stained glass windows in St Cuthbert's, one on the East Side, 'A Memorial Window' inscribed "I was sick and you visited me" which was paid for by public subscription. Two other windows were dedicated to a former churchwarden, Mr Cuthbert Berkley.
The Organ in St Cuthbert's Church was by Nicholson of Newcastle. A second hand organ was bought for £275 and installed in 1922, replacing the piano used since 1910, which was replaced by an electronic organ in 1955. In 1960 the Choir Vestry was enlarged, the cost being met from the sale of the old Chapel, to the Over 60's Club and a gift of £100 from Mrs S. Liddle.
The longest serving Vicar was The Reverend Alan Gales who was at the parish for over 31 years. He was born on 28th November 1929 and originated from Birtley. To find out more about him go to people of note Marley Hill.
In the thirties and forties many groups met at the vicarage including the Sunniside Guides and Scouts and a Boys' Youth Club. After the War, Harry Roddam held woodwork classes for the young men and the Youth Club Soccer team also trained there. In 1952, an Over 60's Club was formed at Sunniside and the building was widely known as the Over 60's club 'Headquarters'. It was sold in 1995.