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Rev. Alison Stewart Smith, Priest-in-Charge
Parish Mobile

Getting here

Holy Cross is a parish church in the Diocese of Durham. Founded in 1220, it is a Grade 1 Listed building. Our patron saint is Hilda, Abbess of Whitby.

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The church, founded in 1220, is approached from the picturesque village green by a long drive allowing in winter fine views across the churchyard to the valley below, and in summer partial river views through dappled light from the beautiful mature trees. Before bridges, this was the strategic point on the Tyne, being the first fordable crossing point at low tide, 22 miles upstream from the sea. The fact probably underlies the name ‘Ryton’. It certainly accounts for the construction of the Motte, the great mound to the north of the church. The Motte, c1100, is a scheduled Ancient Monument.

The area around is dominated by the church spire which can be seen for many miles up and down river and across the valley, although strangely it cannot be seen from most of Ryton itself. The churchyard abounds with wildlife which includes flowers together with grey squirrels and other common woodland birds, and very occasionally those attending the 8 o’clock service have seen deer.

We have recently had a large grant from English Heritage which enabled us to carry out essential repairs, and more noticeably have the stained glass windows cleaned and repaired. What a lovely sight they are nowadays!

Decorating the Church for Harvest and Christmas are joyous occasions involving members of the congregation, and always follwed by delicious refreshments.

The Parish Hall nearby is used regularly by many groups including Brownies, Toddlers and Tai Chi, and for occasional events such as the Advent Brunch, a Craft Fair Christmas Fair.

The Hall may be hired for your special event.



Off Village Green in Old Ryton Village
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE40 3QP

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