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St John's URC Church Outside


The church began it's life many years ago and after a few moves and renovation, we are bigger and better than ever. Helping the community and being part of something so much bigger.


In 1934 the church was given extensive repairs and was redecorated which included a new organ, new font and new communion table. The church had become the centre and focal point for many. However, subsidence, due to the mine workings beneath the church caused extensive damage. Due to safety reasons the church was closed in the early 1940’s and eventually demolished. For over seventy years the congregation had worshipped in the original church building, but now the congregation moved on, the familiar was left behind. Premises were rented from the Salvation Army and Sunday evening services and Sunday School were commenced in Wideopen. During this time a site was obtained in the centre of a new housing estate and a temporary building was erected. This was opened and dedicated in September 1950.

The congregation lived in this second home for twelve years, a period of steady growth and faithful work. Evening worship continued on Sundays and Sunday School on mornings and afternoons flourished. Many activities took place during the week.


It was decided that, though a new church was necessary, it would not be built on that site. A site was donated on a local housing development and after much faithful prayer and hard work a new church was opened and dedicated in November 1962.

Over the past few years, changes within ministry has meant that St John’s, in 2010, initially entered into a joint Pastorate with Ponteland United Reformed Church, with a shared ministry. In 2018 we extended this Pastorate to make a Joint Pastorate that also includes Horsley and St Aiden’s, Hexham. This extended pastorate is in its infancy, though much work is presently being undertaken to develop relationships, ministry, worship and service in our local area.

The next steps in the journey have been discussions between the congregations of Wideopen St Johns URC and Ponteland URC over 2021 and  2022  which led to a decision to unite our two congregations to form one church to serve our area.

On Saturday 26th March 2.00 we held a 

Uniting Service

to celebrate the joining together of

Ponteland and Wideopen Churches

to create a new church to serve our area

 with  Rev David Herbert, Moderator of Northern Synod

Our first United Sunday Service


was held on 
 Sunday March 27th 2022 at 10.45
We look forward to learning and growing together 
see 'services' page for the very special sermon on this day

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The Church began its life in Seaton Burn about a mile from its present site. In the early days of the congregation services were held in the homes of members, in the local colliery school-room and for a time in the nearby Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. A site was leased from the Colliery owners and the building of a church commenced. The first minister of the congregation was inducted 1874 and in the November of that year the new church was opened and dedicated.

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