Former church is set to turn 111

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PREPARATIONS are in full swing ahead of an event this weekend to celebrate the 111th birthday of a former church in Hartlepool.

Earlier this year people were being urged to dig out old photographs 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, as part of the birthday celebrations.

The management committee of St Matthew’s Hall plans to unveil a “history wall” at the celebratory event due to take place this Saturday, 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 1pm to 4pm, and although we already have a number of photos we are keen to obtain as many as possible.”

The management committee has been working with Hartlepool Borough Council’s community development officer Irene Cross on the celebratory event.

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.

On Saturday, there will be games, face painting, a raffle, a cake stall, a tombola and magic show at the event and tickets are £1.

Anyone with photographs or other information can contact Barbara by e-mail at

For ticket details call Barbara on (01429) 298241, Carol Laud on (01429) 290290 or Christine Robinson on (01429) 272083.