Christ Church acts as a multi-purpose community hub, providing support for the area, with the church hall used by a range of local groups. We are a small, but enthusiastic, mixed-age congregation who welcome the Shieldfield community, students and visitors. Our Sunday service follows a traditional form of worship with hymns and followed by fellowship.
Christ Church was consecrated in 1861 and is Grade II* listed as a fine example of the Victorian Gothic architecture. The exterior stonework, never having been cleaned, may give it a forbidding appearance. But, the interior surprises and delights the visitor with its blend of space, light and the numinous. The sanctuary and chancel are one of the earliest examples of re-ordering for west-facing presidency. This is achieved in a way which respects both the priorities of modern worship, and the original design of the building.
In 2017 the church hall was refurbished, with modern kitchen and toilet facilities (with the support of SUEZ Communities Trust). It is available for use by local groups and for hire for events. In 2018 the church was rewired with modern LED lighting and a new heating system was installed in 2019. In 2021 the re-plastering and redecoration of parts of the church continued our work of renovation of the building to allow for its more diverse community use.
The church hall is available for hire. It is currently regularly used by a range of local groups, including for music practice, yoga classes, circus skills and by Newcastle Gamers.
The church is said to stand on the site of a Civil War fort. A plaque on the green opposite commemorates King Charles's visits to "The Shield Field" when a prisoner at Newcastle - he was permitted recreation time here. It is difficult now to imagine the Victorian Shieldfield that Christ Church was built to serve, let alone the Shieldfield where King Charles played golf! Nothing is left of the old flats and tenements - only the church.
The church is usually open at 9am Monday to Thursday, in addition to our usual service times, and for coffee mornings, fayres and other community events. It is also used by the adjoining church primary school. We work with local community groups, arranging Heritage Open Days and other cultural events throughout the year.
We are currently exploring means of funding our community outreach work to allow the church to be a living place of worship with a sustainable future, used and enjoyed by its local community, welcoming visitors and celebrating its unique heritage.