Looking Back at St Andrew’s Mission

St Andrew's Mission, Preston Village, Mothers' Outing, 1910.
St Andrew's Mission, Preston Village, Mothers' Outing, 1910.

St Andrew’s Mission in Rosebery Avenue, Preston Village, was built in 1903 and dedicated by the Bishop of Newcastle. This view of the mothers’ outing in 1910 features Rev William J Johnson.

Ward’s Directory 1909-10 shows that Rev Johnson was the curate, living at Mission House in Hawkey’s Lane, with Reading Rooms and Sunday School in Front Street.

Mrs Smurthwaite and her children probably attended the church outing as the family were active members of the congregation. W Harold Smurthwaite, born in 1908, in his memories of Preston Township and Preston Village entitled Our Heritage, writes about the mission church, where his father was a ‘sidesman’ and Harold attended Sunday School. He mentions a mission of Christ Church in the village founded in 1872, with a lay preacher.

A new church hall adjoining the mission was designed by Architect W Stockdale and built by Messrs Ball following fundraising by the then curate at St Andrew’s, Rev WS Cowans, who raised 1,000 shillings towards building costs.

At the church hall dedication, Mr Stockdale presented copies of Brand’s Newcastle and Sykes’ Local Records to the Bishop, Dr HE Bilbrough, rather than the traditional golden key.

Reverend Canon RE Holmes, Vicar of Tynemouth, presided at the ceremony with former Curate in charge of St Andrew’s, Rev Stanley Green. Also present were Mr R Roberts, church warden and Mr A Fleming, secretary and treasurer of the Church Council.

The mission closed in 1965 and St Andrew’s Court stands on the site.

Local History Day at North Shields Customer First Centre on Saturday launches May’s Local and Family History Month. For further information call 0191 643 5270, visit or email discover@northtyneside.gov.uk