Monday 4th February 2019
Holy Places Visited
- Chester-le-Street Methodist Church (exterior), Chester-le-Street
- Bethel United Reformed Church (exterior), Chester-le-Street
- The Salvation Army Church (exterior), Chester-le-Street
- St. Mary and St. Cuthbert’s Parish Church, Chester-le-Street
Approximately 2 km (1 mile)
Walked from the north end of Chester-le-Street to the central area, visiting churches along the way. The sky was mostly blue but still a lot of snow and ice on the pavements. Visited St. Mary and St. Cuthbert’s Parish Church, which is built on the site of the 883 AD wooden church built by the Lindisfarne Community. The original church was the most important in the north-east area from 883 to 995 AD, during which time St. Cuthbert’s remains were interred here before being moved to Ripon and then Durham Cathedral, where they remain today.
Also on this site, around 950 AD, the priest Aldred added the contemporary Anglo-Saxon (Old English) translation (“the Saxon gloss”) in-between the lines of the Latin in the famous Lindisfarne Gospels. A rare full-size facsimile of these Gospels is in the current church and I was allowed to have a look, courtesy of local volunteers Janet and Alex, who, along with one of the church wardens, Terry, kindly gave me much information about the church. I was also invited to ring one of the church bells that is over 600 years old! This church has been a place of pilgrimage for many centuries and I felt very honoured to have visited.