A Brief History of St. Wilfrid’s

A former church erected in the East end of Haltwhistle in 1865 and dedicated to Holy Cross became known as St. Wilfrid’s in 1920.

Since it was established there have been 23 Priests serving the area. Fr. Leo Pyle is the present Parish Priest.

In 1982 the parish was joined with Haydon Bridge and has remained ever since.

In the 1990’s the former Parish Priest, Fr. Tom Power, concerned about the cramped space for worshippers in the former church building sought approval with parishioners, the Diocese and the Moderator and parishioners of the United Reformed Church to share their building at the West end of Haltwhistle. On 3rd Feb., 1991 the first Mass was celebrated in the United Reformed Church and so began the sharing of the building by both congregations. With the URC service early Sunday morning and the R.C. later.

A church report at the time quoted the following. ”This is a unique ‘First’ in church sharing in the Diocese and perhaps in the country – in a town claiming to be  ‘The Heart of All England’. The R.C. church already shares with Anglicans but this was a sharing with the U.R.C. on an equity basis”.  Since then the church with the two congregations has hosted joint Ecumenical Services with the other Christian churches in the town.

In June 2009 the depleted U.R.C. congregation had their last service and St. Wilfrid’s indicated an interest in purchasing the building. This was agreed by July 2010.