Around the church

Here are just some of the things to look out for around St. Cuthbert’s.

This statue is at the corner of the gallery to the right of the altar.  There are 2 statues, older than the church – they are medieval, and we are not sure which saints they represent.
One of the shields at the top of the woodwork behind the altar, just below the crucifix.  In the 1960s, there were painted angels in the panels below – there’s a photograph on the parish website.


An image of the sanctuary knocker from the cathedral, which is on the glass door into the confessional.  The image is also on the doors into the parish room, if you join us for coffee after Mass.


The painting of the annunciation, on the altar in the Lady Chapel.  An image of God at the top, and on a stand next to the Virgin Mary is a scroll.  The writing is the ‘Rorate Coeli’, a traditional chant for Advent.


This picture is from the font.  There are 8 panels around the font which show the 4 evangelists (this panel shows the lion, the symbol of St. Mark) and the other 4 showing angels holding symbols of the crucifixion.

The stained glass on the door from the church through to the sacristy.  The Widdrington and Pearson families were local Catholic families, and 1685 is the date when the parish was founded – although the church itself is 19th century.

The Fletcher family, contributors to the building of the school in 1847.

Alex Lowery Memorial Plaque

A detail of the stained glass in the Lady Chapel.  The wording on the bottom of the window says ‘An offering to our Blessed Lady from the least of her children’.


Details of the Stations of the Cross.  In the 8th station, Jesus meetss the women of Jerusalem.

The skull is at the foot of the cross in the 12th station, the Crucifixion.



Details of the window in the confessional, based on a design by Benedict Holmes and realised in his memory in 1999 by Fenwick Lawson.

IHS are the first letters of Jesus’ name in Greek, and you can find them in several places around the church.

A detail of the presidential chair on the altar.  IHS are the first 3 letters of Jesus’ name in Greek.  
 A cross carved into the stonework of the doorway as you come into church.  There is a cross each side of the door and they are consecration crosses.  There are traditionally 12 consecration crosses, blessed when a church is consecrated.  As well as the 2 on the doorway there are painted crosses around the interior of the church, which was consecrated in 1910.  


One of the angels on the sanctuary lamp, which hangs from the ceiling to indicate the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle


The image on the left is painted high on the wall to the left of the altar.  The one on the right is the door of the tabernacle.  The image of the pelican represents Christ, because of the tradition that the pelican uses her own blood to feed her young.


Images of the Lamb of God.  The one on the left is on the front of the altar, and that on the right is painted high on the wall to the right of the altar.

 You may also have noticed that there is a third, similar image in the church.  It’s on the altar in the Lady Chapel.  

Details of the Harry Clark stained glass window. In the robes of St Bede (bottom left) is written ‘Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost’.

There’s a crucifix in the vestments of St. Cuthbert

  The text under the triptych of St Cuthbert, St. Aidan and St. Bede, which hangs from the balustrade of the choir loft.  The text says ‘Ven Bede, P.F.U’ (Pray for us)
The bell in the narthex at the back of church, which is rung at the start of Mass.  It’s dated 1888, but we only acquired it in the 1990s and we don’t know its history.  
From the armorials on the balustrades of the tribunes on either side of the high altar.  They are the arms of a selection of old Catholic families, mostly from County Durham, Northumberland and the North Riding of Yorkshire, some closely connected with the city and its Catholic missions. The picture was the one on the far right, the Witham family of Barnard Castle.  
  The hands of St. John, standing at the foot of the cross, high over the main altar.
  From the processional cross.  The cross is the work of Fenwick Lawson, and was made in memory of Matthew Purvis.


A detail from the main altar.  The flower is on the left-hand panel on the front of the altar.
A detail from a cross which usually hangs in the narthex.  It was made from seeds for a flower festival many years ago.
A detail from the candlestick which holds the Easter candle.
One of the vents in the ceiling of the church.  This one, decorated with a cross, is over the choir loft.
  St. Oswald’s head, a detail of the picture of St. Cuthbert which hangs from the choir loft.  St. Cuthbert is usually depicted with St. Oswald’s head, as it is buried with St. Cuthbert in the cathedral.
  A detail from the door of the tabernacle.  There are 4 angels around the central image of the pelican.

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