Event to mark church birthday

(left-right): Committee member Christine Robinson, committee member Jack Hanlon, treasurer Barbara Butcher, Hartlepool Council Community Development Officer Irene Cross and committee member Carol Laud outside St Matthew's Community Centre
(left-right): Committee member Christine Robinson, committee member Jack Hanlon, treasurer Barbara Butcher, Hartlepool Council Community Development Officer Irene Cross and committee member Carol Laud outside St Matthew's Community Centre

PEOPLE are being urged to dig out old photographs of a former church in Hartlepool which is set to celebrate its 111th birthday.

The management committee of St Matthew’s Hall, in Elwick Road, - which operated as St Matthew’s Mission Church from 1902 until it was de-consecrated in 1945 - plans to unveil a “history wall” at a celebratory event on June 29.

Treasurer Barbara Butcher said: “St Matthew’s is 111-years-old and still going strong at the heart of the community in the town’s Stranton Parish.

“The history wall will be a key feature of the celebratory event which will take place from 1-4pm, and although we already have a number of photos we are keen to obtain as many as possible. One lady recently brought in a couple of photos of the church choir so we know there are pictures out there.

“We would also happily record people’s recollections in written form and include them on the wall.”

The management committee is working with Hartlepool Borough Council’s community development officer Irene Cross.

Research has shown the church was the hub of the local community, boasting a big Sunday School, a Church Lads Brigade, a sewing club, cricket teams and a choir amongst others.

There will be games, face painting, a raffle, a cake stall, a tombola, a magic show and more at the event and tickets are £1. Anyone with photographs or other information can contact Barbara by e-mail at barbara-butcher@virginmedia.com For ticket information call Barbara on (01429) 298241, Carol Laud on (01429) 290290 or Christine Robinson on (01429) 272083.