This Church is the third Anglican Church to be built in Alnmouth. A church stood on what is now Church Hill across the river by the estuary. It is said in the year 684 a synod was held where Cuthbert, later to be Saint Cuthbert, was elected Bishop of Lindisfarne. Bede, in A History of the English Church & People notes this “..it happened that a great synod was assembled in the presence of King Egfrid, near the river Alne, at a place called Adtuifyrdi, which signifies “at the two fords,” in which Archbishop Theodore, of blessed memory, presided, and there Cuthbert was, with one mind and consent of all, chosen bishop of the church of Lindisfarne.”
The second Church which replaced it was built on the same site between 1170 and 1190 and dedicated to St Waleric. The Church stood for six hundred years before being subjected to erosion by both sea and river and was completely blown down by the great storm of Christmas 1806.
This Church of St John the Baptist was built on land donated by the 4th Duke of Northumberland and was consecrated by the Bishop of Durham in 1876. It is a fine example of Victorian workmanship. Notice the windows which depict the Passion and Crucifixion. These windows are an example of the early work of C.E. Kemp, and these are complemented by more modern windows depicting Northern Saints and monks, and were designed by C. Evetts. The most modern of these is placed in memory of the Rev. Tom Hindmarsh, Vicar of Alnmouth 1945 -1972.
The Sanctuary ceiling is noteworthy for its shape and decoration; this work was carried out in 1933.
The pulpit is a memorial to Lieutenant Temperley who fell in the First World War; a close inspection reveals carvings of soldier saints.
The Church clock, with its five bells was installed in 1879-79 and its tolling bell in 1933.
The churchyard for St John the Baptist is situated at Foxton and was donated by the 4th Duke of Northumberland in 1976 at the time the Church of St John the Baptist was built.
The Parish was merged with St Mary’s Lesbury in 1975 as a combined benefice and is now also linked with the benefice of St Peter and St Paul Longhoughton and St Michael and All Angels, Howick.
There are strong links with the Franciscan Friary in Alnmouth and we are pleased that the Brothers are able to support the work of the Church here in Alnmouth.
The Parish of Alnmouth
Alnmouth Parish consists of the village of Alnmouth and the hamlet of Foxton. Situated at the mouth of the river Aln, Alnmouth was, until the early 19th century, an active fishing port and an important part of the corn trade. These days it is a holiday centre with two golf courses, two hotels and many bed and breakfast establishments and holiday cottages. The village is visited throughout the year by walkers, golfers and bird watchers and in the summer months by considerable numbers of day trippers, holidaymakers and tourists from UK and overseas.
The churchyard is situated at Foxton and was donated by the 4th Duke of Northumberland in 1876 at the time the church of St John the Baptist was built.
We aim to be a Christian heart at the centre of our community; loving God, his Creation, and our neighbours through discipleship, outreach and service.
If we understand suffering to be whenever we are not in control, then we see why some form of suffering is absolutely necessary to teach us how to live beyond the illusion of control and to give that control back to God and the flow of reality.