St Cuthbert's Church and surrounding graveyard, beneath a moody cloud filled sky
Photo by Michael Bradley

An Overview of St Cuthbert’s Church, Greenhead.

St Cuthbert’s Church was built as a Chapel of Ease in 1827 on ground donated by Colonel Coulson. The architect was John Dobson from Newcastle. The original building was no larger than the present-day nave and the tower had no spire. Following substantial restoration in 1880, the building became the parish church in 1892 when Greenhead was designated a separate parish from Haltwhistle. In 1900 the church was extended to include the chancel and the spire. This addition was funded by Colonel Joicey (who by then owned the Blenkinsopp manor) and built in memory of his father Edward Joicey. The original ceiling and roof were removed and replaced with the open timbered roof of today. An oak shingle covered spire was also added to the tower.

The church was first lit by oil lamps and evidence of these remain today.

On the North wall of the Nave there are three stained glass windows with two panels in each and the designs illustrate the following:

  1. FAITH
    The faith of the Syro-Phoenician woman (Matthew 15)
    The charitable Dorcas (Acts 9)
  3. HOPE
    The sick waiting hopefully at the Pool of Siloam (John 9)

On the South wall of the Nave there another three stained glass windows with a modern window dedicated in 1981 in memory of Major John Joicey (given by his wife and daughters). The three stained glass windows depict the main events in the life of our Lord:

  1. a The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
    b The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke 1)
  2. a The Crucifixion
    b The Nativity or Birth in the stable at Bethlehem (Luke 2)
  3. a The Ascension
    b The Epiphany or Visit of the Three Wise Men (Matthew 2)

On the south side of the Nave there is also the Font and the War Memorial for the 1914-18 war (it is particularly detailed and worth a study). The Second World War Memorial can be found outside the church near the junction in the village. The flag positioned nearby is that of the Greenhead branch of the British Legion.

There are many tablets/brass plaques throughout the church – all worth a look and many dedicated to the memory of local families including one commemorating the sons of the Blenkinsopp Coulsons.