St John's Church Stocksfield
The vision for this 'chapel of ease' (the name given to a church building other than the parish church built within the bounds of a parish for those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently) arose after the railway had been built in 1857. What was left of the original population of the once thriving village of Bywell had recently been moved south of the river so the majority of the population who worshipped at the church no longer lived nearby. The need for a church near to where most of the parish's population lived was further enhanced in 1895 when the Painshawfield Estate was created. Further housing development in Stocksfield around Branch End and Guessburn followed in the 20th century.
The stone built church was opened and consecrated in 1927. It is a compact building that seats around 100 people. It had the great advantage of running water and a toilet (that the parish church still does not have!). There is also a large, well-equipped hall built in 2000 next to the church which is the main meeting place for groups and social activities in the benefice and is available for hire.
The Church over the years
Over the years, the principal worship services for the parish of Bywell have been held predominantly at one rather than the other church (St Peter’s or St John’s). In the past, the main services for the parish have been held here in Stocksfield. Currently, St John’s is used for mid-week services of Holy Communion on a Wednesday morning, for prayer services.
Where is St John's Church?
St John's Church is on Meadowfield Road in Stocksfield. The postcode is NE43 7PY.