Hartlepool-based charity founded by Bishop of Durham is celebrating its 750th anniversary

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A caring Hartlepool-based charity which was formed an incredible 750 years ago is celebrating its anniversary.

The Hospital of God, based in Greatham, was founded in the year 1273 by the then Bishop of Durham to care for poor and needy men.

750 years on, it is still providing care for the community in the form of residential care, almshouses, dementia support and grant giving in Hartlepool and across the wider North East.

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Lawrence McAnelly, director of the Hospital of God, said: “This is a phenomenal achievement and is testament to the charity’s resilience.

The ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Brian Cowie (front centre) with (left) The Right Reverend Mark Wroe Bishop of Berwick and acting Bishop of Newcastle and (right) Reverend Philip Bullock along with invited guests in the Chapel at the Hospital of God Greatham. Picture by FRANK REIDThe ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Brian Cowie (front centre) with (left) The Right Reverend Mark Wroe Bishop of Berwick and acting Bishop of Newcastle and (right) Reverend Philip Bullock along with invited guests in the Chapel at the Hospital of God Greatham. Picture by FRANK REID
The ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Brian Cowie (front centre) with (left) The Right Reverend Mark Wroe Bishop of Berwick and acting Bishop of Newcastle and (right) Reverend Philip Bullock along with invited guests in the Chapel at the Hospital of God Greatham. Picture by FRANK REID

“With a medieval foundation, the charity has flourished into a modern organisation.

“We will be marking our historic milestone with a number of celebration events planned throughout the year.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the charities’ long history of providing care and compassionate services and for putting the people we care for at the heart of everything we do.”

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As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Hospital of God held a Founder’s Day Service in its chapel with the address given by The Right Reverend Mark Wroe, Bishop of Berwick and Acting Bishop of Newcastle.

The Hospital of God at Greatham Village.The Hospital of God at Greatham Village.
The Hospital of God at Greatham Village.
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The service was attended by dignitaries including the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham Mike Poole, the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool Cllr Brian Cowie, and Hospital of God staff, past and present trustees and people who the charity work in partnership with.

Robert de Stichell built the first hospital at Greatham for five priests and 40 laymen.

After a period of misuse of its assets, the charity was re-founded by King James I in 1610 as a corporation known as the Master and Brethren of the Hospital of God at Greatham.

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Today the charity provides care, support and housing services, particularly older people and those living with dementia, including its Stichell House 35-bed residential care home in Greatham, supported living for older people, and day care services.

It also issued over £174,000 in grants to worthwhile organisations since autumn 2021.

Trustee Philippa Sinclair has written a book called Greatham Hospital: a brief of the charity as it celebrates 750 years of offering care.

It is available for £5 in cash or £7.50 postal sales at the Estate Office.

All proceeds from its sale will go directly to the charity.