President's Report 2015

President’s Report 2015



I never ceased to be amazed by how widely known, loved and appreciated this church building is to people far and near.  I have conversations with folk from all walks of life and from all parts of the UK and the mention St. George’s Cullercoats generates an immediate response not only of recognition but of admiration. This last week is no exception. Br Reginald SSF is the oldest member of the First Order of the Franciscans at Alnmouth. As soon as he realized I was the Vicar of St. George’s  we immediately struck up a conversation about this Pearson building and the special association with which it is held in the affections of the Friars. He remembered attending a Pearson Church as a young man in London which was destroyed in the blitz. So too a young lecturer in architecture at Northumbria University – a local lad born and brought up in the parish – was well acquainted with the splendour and historical significance of this extraordinary church.


English Heritage recognise just what a jewel we have here. They are producing a book of Pearson’s churches and have selected just eight, of which this is one. Talking to the recording team and even to the wonderful photographer who spent an entire day here with his cameras, it was apparent that they all fell under the thrall of this austere and sacred space. They were continually fascinated and enthralled as they were introduced to the wonderful building here, and it made a deep impression on them which they had not felt in the same way in their visits to the other seven. There really is something special about this place.


I suspect that is why you are all ‘Friends’. The place has cast its own particular thrall over you too, and you have very generously signed up to support and preserve this place for future generations. And they too are caught by the place. I welcomed young ‘Ollie’ (aged 7) to the church this week. He is to be a page boy at a wedding and wanted to see the church before the great day.  It was like introducing an impressionable young wizard to Hogwarts.


Last year I issued a bit of a challenge to the Friends. I suggested that they should have a target of enlarging the membership and double the number of members. I am not sure just how successful they have been in their efforts, but as I said last year, if we can cast our net wide, then the burden of responsibility is cast upon many more shoulders, and the weight feels a little lighter. So do please pass the word on and tell your friends about our organization. You might even consider buying them a year’s membership as a Christmas Present!


So once again, thank you for all your invaluable support to help maintain this remarkable building.




Canon Adrian Hughes

Vicar of St. George’s Church, Cullercoats