“ Jarrow / Tyne and Wear / England „
St Paul's Church
On a recent visit to Bede's World in Jarrow, we also went to St Pauls church, which is a short walk through a park from Bedes World. Visitors wanting to visit the church should follow signs for Bede's World, and parking is available either just outside the church or in Bede's World
The church is actually the parish church of Jarrow, and so sometimes there are services on, but when nothing is happening, visitors are welcome to have a look around.
The church can be accessed from an open gate at the front, with a path leading to the door of the church or from the side, which is the entrance which leads from the park. At the time we went to the church, it was undergoing some restoration work to the roof, so there was lots of scaffolding, and once inside the church, there was also evidence of building work in the form of plastic sheeting on the walls.
Once inside the church, it is clear that this is not an "ordinary" parish church, and evidence of its importance and history lies in the fact that there is a small shop selling souvenirs. However, this does not detract from the peace and serenity of the church, and the feeling of age. Although it is a very small church, it does have some beautiful stained glass windows, and there are interesting things to look at.
The chancel in the church dates back to 7th century when it was a free-standing chapel in the monastery, and inside the church, in the wall of the tower, is an original stone slab with a Latin inscription dated 23 April AD 685.
Behind the church are remains of the Benedictine monastery of the Middle Ages which was re-founded on the site of Bede's monastery. There are signs showing visitors how some of the walls have been built and suggestions as to where the original foundations of buildings in Bede's day might have been. This outside area is quite hilly, but a great place to explore, with plenty of grassed areas and very few people walking around.
The church is opened by volunteers, and opening times are subject to change but are usually Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.00 and Sunday 2.30 - 4.00
Tel: 0191 489 7052
St Paul's Church, Church Bank, Jarrow NE32 3DZ,
What we thought
As I said, we had been to Bede's World for the afternoon, and visited the church to have a look at the place where Bede had started his llife as a monk. Although it is not the original church, signs of its age are visible inside the church, and information given to visitors either on signs or by the very helpful volunteers. It was a shame that there was building work going on, but this did little to detract from the sense of calm inside the church.
Once outside, we had a good look round the remains of the monastery, and what I found strange was that people were able to climb over the walls. It's a pleasant place for just walking around, and taking in the scenery but visitors with wheelchairs or pushchairs should bear in mind that it is very hilly
For anyone visiting Bede's world or interested in this kind of history, I would recommend this church.
Thanks for reading.