Originally the village of Cleadon formed part of the parish of Whitburn (it’s larger neighbour to the east at the coast). In the mid nineteenth century Cleadon had started to grow and the villagers desired their own place of worship that they did not have to walk to. Permission was given by the Bishop of Durham to build a church in Cleadon. It was to have a seating capacity of 100. The site was obtained through a legacy and in 1866 the foundation stone was laid by Richard Shortbridge JP of Cleadon Meadows. The completed building was dedicated on March 31 1869 as a Chapel of Ease.

The chancel ceiling was first painted a chocolate brown colour and decorated in gold leaf with three angels. Following the building work in 1907 of the south aisle extension, it was redecorated in a much lighter colour. More angels and cherubs were added, and on a wooden reredos the six northern saints were painted.

In 1911 Cleadon became an independent parish from Whitburn, going north into what is now Cleadon Park. In the interwar period a large housing estate was built in this northern part of the parish and so a mission church (St Cuthbert) was established on the edge of Temple Park to serve the new housing estate. In 1951 this mission church formed the basis of the new parish of Cleadon Park.

The late Victorian style chancel paintings were replaced in 1968 after the PCC, reflecting the modern and progressive outlook of Cleadon community, and advised by the Council for the Care of Churches, took a courageous decision. The new work, which now dominates the chancel, is entitled the Transformation Scene. Designed and painted on to panels in 1966 by Michael Hoare the murals depict the crucified and enthroned Christ flanked by angels.

The Cleadon Crucifix

excerpt from The Transformation Scene, 1966, Michael Hoare

Another significant development of 1968 was the addition of a vestry complex to the south-east corner of the building. It was at this time that the current organ was installed by Harrison and Harrison with the keyboard console installed in the space previously occupied by the vicar’s vestry.

The 1960’s vestry complex was demolished in 2011 to be replaced by a Chapter House style meeting room, toilet, preparation room and vestry, all disabled accessible. These are the first rooms that are accessible to the disabled on the campus. Disabled access was also added to the worship area.