All Saints Blackwell - History
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The History of the Church in Blackwell - 1919 to 1960

1919 or 1920

A commitment was made by St. Cuthbert's PCC to provide a building for Blackwell worshippers. A cottage was rented at 'Briar Cottages' at southern end of Blackwell and called The Mission Room or Church Room. A Sunday School already existed in the day school at Bland's Corner. No services were held.

January 1926

The PCC allocated £100 and the St. Cuthbert's Blackwell warden offered £25 out of his own pocket to repair the Church Room at Blackwell. In view of the increasing population spread there, the committee suggested providing a Church for Blackwell.

February 1926

The Warden for Blackwell suggested securing about an acre of land for a Mission Room and ultimately a Church. A deputation went to Sir Henry Havelock-Allan to ask about purchasing a site on Blackwell Estate for Church purposes.

April 1926

Meanwhile it was resolved that the Nonconformists should be asked their terms for allowing the use of "their existing room which is not in use". [Nonconformists = Blackwell United Methodist Church on Bridge Road].

October to December 1926

Agreement with BUMC was delayed because of council road-widening plans for Bridge Road, but finally concluded because the room at Briar Cottages was required by the owner for one of his workers.

September 1927

£150 allocated from St. Cuthbert's Sale of Work towards the cost of a Blackwell church site. Services in Mission Room at BUMC: morning service once a month, evening service once a month.

January 1928

Blackwell Sunday evening service abandoned because of poor attendance. Morning service continued until 1935, but poorly attended.

March 1933

Application "to Sir Henry Havelock-Allan for the purchase, at the price of £50 per acre, of 1.5 acres for the site of a Church, Parish Hall and Vicarage House for Blackwell."

July 1934

Document for purchase of the land was signed and conveyed to the Diocesan Board of Finance.

February 1935

The BUMC room was still in use. Blackwell Mission Extension Fund first mentioned. Although money had been allocated from the annual sale of work for buying the land, now £50 was allocated for 'a building'.


The site was fenced and hedged and estimates invited for a Church building. Approval and a grant were sought from the Diocese.

30 June 1937

Foundation stones (still visible) laid by Lord Barnard, Sir Henry Havelock-Allan, Lady Starmer and Mrs James White.

27 October 1937

Dedication of completed building just five months after tender to build was accepted. For the first few years of existence Blackwell was dependent financially on St Cuthbert's.


First Annual General Meeting at Blackwell. Need expressed for a new Church building and a Parish Room. A Mothers' Union branch formed. In 1943 it had 68 members.


65 Carmel Road South bequeathed for the use of the priest in Charge.

November 1943

The Church was called "All Saints'".


The Church Hall was erected at a cost of £1600 and was in full use by the following year.


The Vicar explained that the possibility of the division of St Cuthbert's Parish, in order to create a Conventional District for All Saints', was "very remote in view of the fact that the population thereof is only about 3200". (This was before the St Columba area became part of the parish.)


At a special Congregation meeting the general opinion was that "an extension to the present (All Saints') Church Building was of first priority", a Proposition, including the idea of a screened dual purpose extension, was put and carried unanimously.

18 September 1956

The extension was opened. Thus the Church remained until September 1997.

The History of the Church in Blackwell - 1961 to 2000


A proposal for a new building together with Elm Ridge Methodist Church was carried without dissent, but later overturned when a plan for a New Church was received from the architect and the plan for a joint building with Elm Ridge was deemed inopportune.


Doubts were raised as to the need for a New Church, and the whole matter was referred back to the Church Committee. The idea of a New Church died once again.


Hall extensions were built.


A request from a local builder to buy part of the church site to build houses was turned down.

28th June 1987

A Dedication Service bringing to an end the Celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of the church building and dedicating ourselves for future service.

December 1988

The church committee turned down an approach by Wimpey Homes for the sale of the Church Field for residential development.

March 1990

A Mr Stead offered £160,000 for the strip of land along Blackwell Lane. The secretary was instructed to reply that the land was not for sale. A Repair and Maintenance survey of both Church buildings concluded that in general terms the buildings were in good condition with a considerable projected life.

June 1994

All Saints' Third Millennium Group formed to discuss the development of All Saints' over the next ten years.

October 1994

Discussion under way with St Cuthbert's and Holy Trinity for new parish boundaries to enable All Saints' to take in an area to the north of Coniscliffe Road.

December 1994

The Third Millennium Group gave its report and made recommendations about the stability of the ministry, the ministry to families and young children, and about the church buildings. Along with this report came a detailed study of possible improvements to the hall by adding a new block to the front at a cost of about £100,000, and suggestions as to how it could be funded. A Hall planning group was subsequently set up to consider this matter, to make proposals to the church committee and to implement any decisions.

July 1995

A meeting between Holy Trinity, St Mary's, Cockerton, St Cuthbert's and All Saints' agreed to consider a Group Ministry, with the formation of a Conventional District covering the area bounded by the Tees, the Skerne, Nunnery Lane, Carmel Road, Cleveland Terrace and Quaker Lane, (7,000 people) with its Parish Church on the All Saints' site. Salutation Church could not continue, but the site could be redeveloped as a Christian Community Centre.

July to October 1995

Plans for an improved Hall were discussed between architects, the Borough Engineer, the congregation and the general public and a choice recommended and accepted. It was decided to make an application for funding to the Millennium Fund.

November 1995

An appeal to raise the first £60,000 for the building project raised £83,000 within a few weeks.

December 1995

A submission for a grant from the Millennium Commission towards building work on the hall was made.

February 1996

It was decided to build a completely new hall. Our application to the Millennium Commission was accepted but the grant, if any would not be announced until September.

Easter Sunday 1996

The new Conventional District of All Saints' and Salutation came into being, to serve the area decided in July 1995.

April 1996

The first Annual Parochial Church Meeting of the new Conventional District took place and a new parochial Church Council was elected

May 1996

Provisional planning permission granted for the new centre.

June 1996

Salutation Church was condemned as unsafe; and demolished. A brick frontage was built to the hall and the front area landscaped. Salutation Hall was back in use by September

November 1996

The Millennium Commission offered 48% of the cost of the new hall, or 50% of the hall plus the link to the church.

17 June 1997

First sod cut for the new hall by the Bishop of Durham and Nicola Barrett from the Millennium Commission. They used stainless steel spades and the Bishop enlarged the hole at the controls of a JCB.

July-September 1997

The church was reordered to provide for the link with the new Millennium Centre. Services took place in the temporary hall accommodation.

19 December 1997

The complete new hall was handed over. The last use of the temporary hall was after the Nativity Play and 10.30 service on 21 December. The foyer and main entrance were fully functional with access to the church through the new ground glass screen doors. The hall was fully functional by Sunday 4 January 1998.

1 November 1998

Blackwell All Saints' & Salutation becomes a Parish with John Dobson as the first Vicar.

21 May 2000

The Church is consecrated by the Bishop of Durham

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All Saints’ Church, Ravensdale Road, Darlington, DL3 8DT
01325 469891
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