The church was built at the heart of Chapel House by residents of the new housing estate. It was designed by architect John Kirkham, also Church Warden at the time.
The first service was on Easter Day 1972 and the building was consecrated in September of that year by Right Reverend Hugh Ashdown, Bishop of Newcastle.
The church is wide and open, with rounded corners and floor level windows, to echo the wide arms of welcome from God. The inside and outside of the church are linked by clear glass, strengthening the link between community and church, between the worship and the activities of the community. The living God is both outside and in, wherever we are. Our community project is called 'Outside In', a name inspired by this visionary theme.
We have a selection of photos of the building for you to view.
The flower cross was planted in the millennium year 2000 and was maintained by a regular donation from the community. Click on the photos above to view a larger version.
The church and surrounding land were significantly modified during the construction of the new Parish Centre and re-furbishment of the church in 2010 for the Outside In Community Project. Photographs and details of this development can be seen on the 'Outside In' page. Photographs of the new centre will appear soon.
The wrought iron sculptures throughout the church were created by Charles Sansbury of Allendale. The surfaces of the sculptures have different textures and reflect light from different directions, lending a lively nature to the works. They reflect aspects of the birth (nativity) and life of Christ.
The Holy Nativity (or Birth of Christ) is represented as you enter the church by the sculptor's stylised 'Star of Bethlehem'. The bands of metal at the centre represent the swaddling clothes wrapped round the infant Jesus at his nativity and arranged like the unfolding petals of a rose to reveal new glory.
The Star behind the altar continues the nativity theme with the folded bands of metal at the centre. It also depicts many aspects of Christ's life. There is a wide cross with arms extended to represent the agony of Jesus at his crucifixion. The rays represent the crown of thorns and the nails used at the crucifixion, but also reminds us of the light of Christ radiating across the world.
The ends of the cross are bent forward to demonstrate Christ's embrace for all humankind for whom he died. The figure at the centre, free from the cross, represents the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus.
The baptismal font cover, aumbry lamp holder, church warden's staffs and tall candle stands were also made by Charles Sansbury. These and other art works were gifted or made by parishioners and church organisations.
The cross stitch picture of Mary and the baby Jesus was worked by Birgit Kirkham for the opening of the church in 1972. It is one of many gifts of needlework and craft which can be found in church, including vestments and kneelers, all created by members of the congregation.
The church on the Chapel House estate began its life in the Vicarage (then at 8 Frenton Close) where services and meetings of organisations, as they were formed, were held for about eighteen months. The first service was held on 19th September 1965, following the appointment of the Rev'd Stanley Prins as the first 'Priest in Charge'. The church hall was ready for use in February 1967.
Do you know the story of the beans? It is a tradition to re-tell it every September on the Church's Birthday!
Holy Nativity is a tiny part of a faith journey…
explore more through www.HOPEinfo.co.uk.
Holy Nativity is a tiny part of contemporary life…
Discover more through www.rejesus.co.uk.
On 29th July 2009 we welcomed Rev'd Canon Peter Kenney as priest-in-charge of Holy Nativity. Peter has been a minister in Newcastle Diocese for 33 years, and was a team vicar of St Wilfrid's in Newbiggin Hall during the eighties. He is the Bishop's Advisor in Pastoral Care and Counselling and an Honorary Canon of Newcastle Cathedral. He will continue in these roles as well as serving part-time in Chapel House. He will bring valuable experience and skill to the parish. Contact Peter and the Team.
Previous vicars of Holy Nativity include Rev'd Stanley Prins, Rev'd Ray Chapman, Rev'd Keith Waters, Rev'd Syd Connolly and Rev'd Bill Rigby.
Chapel House estate was formerly part of the Parish of St. John's, Whorlton, and together with the other new church in the parish, St. Wilfrid's in Newbiggin Hall estate, formed part of the Whorlton Team Ministry. In 1996 the three churches were re-established as separate parishes.
You can find Holy Nativity at:
Hillhead Parkway, Chapel House, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE5 1DR.
Find us on Google Maps and get directions.