In this section and listed in the contents, you will find examples of services held in St Andrew's Church (or from St Mary's Gainford) or recorded reflections for special dates during the year such as Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. This list is in date or alphabetical order, so the latest ones added to this list will be marked as NEW to make it easier to find them.
Here is some history and facts about our church here in Winston. You will find some pictures in the gallery at the top of the contents list.
St Andrew’s Church was built in 1254 in Early English style, extensively but not insensitively restored and extended in 1848 to designs by John Dobson of Newcastle, set within what is probably an ancient burial ground. The wide 13th century Chancel is almost entirely medieval internally. The choir stalls incorporate 17th century bench poppy heads. The Nave was extended and pews installed in 1848 with a vestry, porch and octagonal bell turret with two bells added. Internally the walls are plastered except for the Chancel and vestry. The floors are of stone paving, with suspended timber platforms to the pew areas. It is heated by an oil fired warm air unit. The organ was built by Nelson’s of Durham and dedicated as a memorial to Queen Victoria in 1902.
Extensive work was done in 2014 for which a grant from English Heritage Lottery Fund was made (approximately half the cost) to replace the Chancel roof, the east and south walls of the Chancel were structurally tied and repointed, together with some repointing to other walls of the church. Internally the walls are plastered except for the Chancel and vestry. The church is well maintained and in good order. In 2020 the Nave roof was renewed, together with updating of electrics and heating.
The church has no disabled access due to the limitations of the site, no toilet or kitchen facilities but we do have an arrangement with the nearby village hall. The churchyard contains a considerable number of headstones and is now closed for burials, except for a section for cremated remains. It is maintained by Durham County Council.
We are traditional church with a simple yet flexible worship style. We have a service every Sunday at 9.30 a.m. with Common Worship communion or occasional morning prayer services and the average attendance is around 20 people.
We have a Family communion service on the first Sunday of the month from October to May, with the children taking part in the service. Attendance varies from 4 to 11 children.
In 2018 there were 2 baptisms and 2 in Little Newsham private chapel, 3 funerals and 2 marriages, one at Easter and one at Christmas. The church welcomes people who wish to be married, the view from the church provides a wonderful background for photographs.
The Harvest celebration and Songs of Praise services are attended by approximately 50 people of all denominations. Mothering Sunday, Easter, Remembrance Sunday and Christmas Day attendances attract 40 to 50 people. The Christmas Eve Candlelit Carol Service sees the church full to capacity each year with about 140 people attending.
We have held a number of Christmas Tree Festivals (the last one was in December 2018), Flower Festivals (the last one was in August 2017 celebrating the Nine Decades of the Queen) and Open Gardens which attract many visitors from a wide area.
There are details about our latest restoration project of the church in the News section, which was carried out during the time of COVID restrictions and we are beginning to hold services once more from Easter Sunday.