St. Aidan's Church in Fourstones
St. Aidan's Church is unique in the diocese of Newcastle and possibly in the whole of the UK. It was built and dedicated in 1892 at the expense of the then incumbent of the Parish of Warden, the Reverend George Cruddas. At that time Fourstones village was booming with a large population working at the quarry on Frankham Fell, in the local lime kilns, on the railway, and in the local coal mine. This tiny church was to be a mission church for the village.
It is unique in that it was bought ‘off-the-peg’ so to speak from a company who specialised in small ‘tin tabernacles’ and mission churches. It is of simple wooden construction on a stone foundation with a slate roof.
The interior of St. Aidan's is as simple yet welcoming, seating around 50 people in what is basically one room. As you enter St. Aidan's there is a small font which, following the style of the church, has simple lines. There is no organ in the church: music is originally provided by a harmonium. This instrument is still in the church but has been superseded by a new(er) electric organ. The fittings in the church are all in proportion to the building, the altar, credence table and pulpit do not dominate. There is one stained glass window behind the altar showing the Birth, Crucifixion and Ascension of Christ.
St. Aidan's sits at the junction of the main road through Fourstones and the Chollerton road. The piece of land that the church sits on was leased to the parish in 1894 by three members of the Straker family: George, Robert and Walter who are all described as ‘Coalowners’ at a fee of 1 shilling per annum!
As a mission Church it does not have a church yard but just a few shrubs giving the impression of simplicity.
St. Aidan’s is not licensed for Weddings or Funerals however we do occasionally conduct baptisms there.
The church is used on the fifth Sunday of the month for morning worship and for evening prayers Monday to Thursday throughout the year.