A church situated opposite the infamous ‘Byker Wall’ in east Newcastle Upon Tyne celebrated its 40thanniversary in mid-May – but its Gospel witness dates as far back as the 1920s.
Welbeck Road Evangelical Church is based on the border of Walker and Byker, which featured in 90s children’s TV programme “Byker Grove”.
The church began under the auspices of the Newcastle City Mission. A thriving afternoon Sunday School was attended by over 50 children, with many attending from the surrounding slum houses.
All activities took place in a corrugated iron hall, until members supported the building of a permanent brick structure in the 1930s.
The work has grown under the leadership of different ministers since then, becoming an independent church with its own constitution in 1979.
Currently, 100 people from different backgrounds and nationalities attend. It is reaching into the community through youth activities, schools’ outreach and a residential homes ministry.
At the 40thanniversary services, old friends returned to hear preaching from former ministers Tony Hutter (1986-1997) and David Lovelock (2000-2015). The current pastor David Larmour, who joined in 2016, led a time of reflection and prayer in the afternoon.
He reminded the congregation that they are part of an ongoing work and God is “building His kingdom, through us, for eternity”.