St Thomas the Apostle, Stanhope

Stanhope Church is historic and beautiful, built on Saxon foundations by the Normans and set in the centre of our very small market town, set back from the market place. Historically rectors were Bishops of Durham, which was highly profitable as they got a share of profits from the lead mines which have helped to shaped our Weardale landcape (now part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Beauty). The Church is open every day (usually between 10 am and 4 pm). For visitors in search of their family history, we have information from the burial registers and a plan on display at the back of Church. The Churchyard is maintained by volunteers and goodwill. Although we do our best to keep the outer parts under control, things can get a bit wild later in the summer.

Our congregation is small but  growing; we work hard to maintain the Church and former rectory, now used as the Church Hall. We have been in interregnum since 2023 [i.e. we have no priest in charge], but are blessed by the service of our curates, Heather and Michael, and the large number of retired clergy who live in the Benefice. There are services held in our Church 5 times per week. The Church Hall is the hub of our community, and is the base for Church sponsored foodbank, toddler group, farmers' market, Mothers' Union, warm hub and community café, and professional theatre and music. It is also used by the Scouts, photographic society, book group, community choir, yoga, children's ballet classes, etc.

Friends of St Thomas Church ( are immensely supportive, in the past fundraising has paid for restoration of the tower clock and historic gravestones. In 2020, we discovered a significant outbreak of dry rot under the floor. Unfortunately, this is still not resolved but the Friends are poised to start fundraising to replace the wooden floor with stone flagstones as soon as we can. Fundraising activities include wine tastings in Church (led by our pharmacist), concerts, quizzes and, to come in the autumn, a murder mystery and dinner...

We have very strong links with our local school, Stanhope Barrington C of E Primary School ( with congregation members serving on the governing body. Whole school services take place in Church once a term and teachers regularly use it as a teaching resource.

We are always pleased to welcome visitors to our Church and to services. Well behaved dogs are also very welcome.

Get in touch

Rev Heather Ross

5 Longhorn Ends
Bishop Auckland

DL13 1JG
Rev Heather Ross
07713 388106
What's on

Morning Prayer

Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday at for 30 mins
St Thomas the Apostle, Stanhope
Stanhope Bishop Auckland, DL13 2YZ, United Kingdom

Informal service held in the round.


The parish of Stanhope is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer(s), PSOs. The Diocese of Durham’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our PSOs.

If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.

For information or to discuss any matter relating to safeguarding please contact the Benefice Safeguarding Office Ms Liz Walsh: [email protected] or the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser Ms Beth Miller: 07968 034075 [email protected].

For further information click here to see the Diocese of Durham safeguarding pages