Falstone St Peter

Consecrated in 1892  

 Times of Services:
11:00am Parish Communion on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays in the month. 

'Find Us'

 Very little is known of the early inhabitants of the upper North Tyne region but in 1813 the discovery of a runic stone indicates that the Angles’ arrived in the area in the 7th, or 8th, century; and that Christianity may have been introduced about that time. The Revd. James Wood, the Presbyterian minister at Falstone was responsible for finding an inscribed stone fragment on the site of some ruins near Hawkhope which had previously been marked on a map of 1769. It is thought that this may be the original site of Falstone church or chapel. This roughly weathered stone with its runic and insular uncial inscriptions on opposite sides indicated it had stood out of doors for centuries.
 In 1885 part of a Saxon cross was found, strongly confirming that Christianity had been accepted well over a thousand years before.
 Little is known about the pre-reformation chapel at Falstone (Fawe Stone), although it existed prior to 1541, some time after which it appears to have fallen into disrepair. In 1650 although parliamentary commissioners recommended that ‘the Chappell at Falleston be rebuilded and made the Parish Church thereof’ this was not carried out. From 1709 onwards rebuilding was undertaken and the Chapel used by the Presbyterians. A new ‘English Chapel’ was built before 1725 within the graveyard of the present church, and probably just south of the existing St Peter’s Church.
In 1824, on the advice of a Greenwich Hospital agent, an entirely new church was built at a cost of £1,040 together with a ‘handsome rectory-house,’ for a further £1,000 in which the first Rector took up residence. Archdeacon Singleton reported a few years later that the Rector ‘had seen some service at sea, became restless, expensive, drunken, embarrassed, and eventually insane in his retirement’. However his curate, Samuel Kennedy, a ‘respectable old non-graduate’ who had ‘neither the means nor the taste for domestic and horticultural nearness’ was on call to help with the ‘service once on Sundays and communion four times a year’. The average congregation was thirty, the communicants fifteen.

In 1879 records show that the church was re-seated and renovated throughout by private contribution but ‘on the night of Sunday 26th November 1882 in consequence of overheating of the flue of the warming apparatus, the floor ignited. Fortunately the fire was discovered, not, however until it had scorched the ceiling, but by the prompt action of the villagers, it was extinguished before very material damage was done’. Immediately prior to the fire the Rectory Room had been built at a cost of £150 with money borrowed from Queen Anne’s bounty, (valued for insurance in 1982 at £32,000!), with a library of 350 volumes being established in 1884.
The church ‘with its roomy but well-filled churchyard’ remained untouched and an important part of village life until December 1890 when for the second time a fire ignited the structure destroying almost the entire church. A comprehensive record of the rebuilding of the church and its reopening was made by the Hexham Courant in the edition of the 28th May 1892.

At the Patronal Festival Evensong on the Eve of St Peter's Day, 2011, The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Martin Wharton, dedicated a new font cover in memory of John Henry and Edna Gibb.