About Us

The Parish Church of Shadforth is dedicated to the Northumbrian saint, Cuthbert, and was consecrated by Edward Maltby, Lord Bishop of Durham, on August 5th 1839.

St Cuthbert's church, Shadforth is an Anglo-Catholic church, we are a Christian church that emphasizes the continuity of traditional Catholic beliefs and practices within the context of the Anglican tradition. The term "Anglo-Catholic" is used to describe a high church or ritualistic approach to Anglicanism, which places a strong emphasis on liturgy, sacraments, and the rich traditions of the early Christian church.

Key characteristics of Anglo-Catholicism include:

Liturgical Emphasis: Anglo-Catholic churches place a strong emphasis on liturgical worship, often using elaborate rituals, vestments, and ceremonial practices similar to those found in Roman Catholicism. The liturgy is central to their worship, and they often celebrate the Mass (Holy Eucharist) with a focus on its sacrificial and sacramental aspects.

Sacramental Theology: Anglo-Catholics uphold a robust belief in the sacraments, particularly in the seven traditional sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church. They believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and emphasize the transformative nature of the sacraments in the life of the believer.

Apostolic Succession: Like Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, Anglo-Catholics maintain the concept of apostolic succession, which means that their clergy trace their ordination lineage back to the original apostles through the laying on of hands.

Veneration of Saints and Mary: Anglo-Catholicism often includes a strong devotion to the Virgin Mary and the saints, similar to Catholic practices. This might involve prayers, hymns, and the use of icons and statues in churches.

Sacred Music: Music is an integral part of Anglo-Catholic worship. Choral music, Gregorian chants, and traditional hymns are frequently used to enhance the spiritual experience of the liturgy.

Catholic Social Teaching: Anglo-Catholics often place a strong emphasis on social justice and the Catholic social teaching principles of caring for the poor, advocating for human dignity, and working towards a just society.

It's important to note that within the Anglican Communion, there is a wide spectrum of beliefs and practices, ranging from low church evangelicalism to high church Anglo-Catholicism. Not all Anglicans identify as Anglo-Catholic, and there are ongoing theological debates and discussions within the Anglican tradition regarding matters of worship, doctrine, and ecclesiology.

Overall, the Anglo-Catholic movement seeks to maintain and promote what its adherents see as the catholic (universal) and apostolic dimensions of the Christian faith while remaining within the framework of the Anglican tradition.