On the trail of the church family

Julie Cordiner outside Holy Trinity Church
Julie Cordiner outside Holy Trinity Church

IT is an important era for Holy Trinity Church in Seaton Carew.

It needs to raise money to repair the stonework of the church, which is badly eroded, and it must be collected before next spring to release an English Heritage grant.

The whole restoration appeal will cost £150,000 and the church, which dates back to the early 1800s, needs the work after being exposed to the elements.

Julie Cordiner has been researching the church’s history to put together an exhibition.

She said: “Somehow this turned into writing a book to sell in order to help with the fundraising.

“I am hoping to publish this by the beginning of December to catch the Christmas trade

“I have really enjoyed doing the research and have found some fascinating information about the church, the villagers, and events.”

But she added: “I don’t have a lot of information about some of the families.”

Now Julie is hoping that other people will have researched the same people as she has and can help her with extra detail.

The families she is interested in are:

Jane and Anna Wray

The earliest stained glass window still surviving in Holy Trinity Church is in memory of Anna and Jane Wray. The inscription reads:

Anna Wray died ye 9th of Dec A.D. 1843

Jane Wray died ye 12th of May A.D. 1856

Julie said: “The 1851 census at Seaton Carew records a Jane Wray (born in Glasgow in 1808), who was unmarried and a landed proprietor, employing a live-in cook and housemaid.

Both Jane and Anna died in Stockton, in 1843. Their father was a doctor, George Wray from Stockton, and their mother was Jane née Catterick.

Julie said: “There is a possibility that the Jane commemorated in this window might be the mother rather than the daughter, but it has not been possible to prove this either way.

“Their grandfather Christopher Wray was a surgeon, who married Anna Maria Ferrand, of the Ferrand family, of Harden Grange, Bingley, in Yorkshire.

Ralph Thompson Walker

Ralph Thompson Walker was born in 1849 at Middleton Grange to Ralph Walker and Ann (neé Corker). He was a farmer at Fence House Farm, in Seaton Carew, and married Mary Stephenson in Hexham in 1872. He died on September 12, 1876 at Helmsley, aged only 27, and is buried at Holy Trinity.

Stanley Dryden Robinson

Stanley Robinson was born in Seaton Carew in 1909 to Thomas Buick Robinson and Laura Dryden.

He was a choirboy and a churchwarden. He had a bad experience in the Second World War as a prisoner of war, captured by the Japanese on the surrender of Singapore. He relied on his Christian faith to survive in the POW camps.

William Henry Loveridge

William Loveridge was born c.1857, died 1938, wife Annie Maria nee Oughtred; sons William Edmonds Loveridge and Henry Norris Loveridge.

Julie would love to hear from anyone who can help her with extra detail on any of the above.

Those interested should contact Chris Cordner by writing to him at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, via email to chris.cordner@northeast-press.co.uk or by calling (01429) 239377.