Felling Shore Methodist Church, Gateshead

Architect's sketch plan of the new Felling Shore Methodist chapel
Image from the collections of the Newcastle upon Tyne District Archives

In 1932, just before Methodist Union, plans were drawn up by the Felling Shore Methodist New Connexion for a replacement chapel building and schoolroom. The building on the south side of Noble Street, was to cost approximately £2,300 and would be able to seat 200.

In 1935, the soon to be disbanded Whitehall Road UM Circuit gave a grant of £800 to the Felling Shore chapel, £200 of which was to pay for the land needed. Building work commenced almost immediately but was slow due to mining subsidence that had to be dealt with first. The last service in the old chapel was led by Colin Stobbs on 9 January 1938. The following week the 54 members entered their new chapel – the only church of any denomination north of the new Felling by-pass for a good two miles.

The demolition of the old village of Felling Shore had seen many residents move away from the area. Felling UDC began building new council housing on the site and around the Stoneygate and Old Fold areas but this did little to attract new members to the church. By 1947, membership had dwindled to 31 and continued in a downward spiral. In July 1969 it was noted that the Sunday School had “not produced a church member for 30 years” and the choir had ceased to exist. Two weeks later, the Society received a letter from the Circuit Meeting suggesting the closure of Felling Shore. The letter caused outrage within the few remaining members but, after lengthy discussion, it was moved that the suggestion be followed through and the church closed. The motion was not seconded. The church closed in 1970.

Southwards, the various Methodist Churches in Felling united together in 1970 and Felling Shore was amongst those who joined in the new “Felling Methodist Church” along with the Congregationalists. The building was demolished in the late 1970s and is now covered by industrial units.

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