Laying the Foundation Stone

The New Congregational Church at Newcastle

January 20th 1859



On Thursday afternoon last, the foundation stone of a new Congregational church was laid at Newcastle, by John Crossley, Esq; of Halifax. For some time past the old chapel (on the site of which the new edifice is to be reared) had been found insufficient, both as to accommodation and comfort, for the church and congregation assembling within its walls. Under these circumstances, the erection of a new structure was some time since resolved upon, and a committee formed to procure subscriptions. Their efforts have resulted up to this time in a subscription list of above £1,100, and in addition £100 has been given by the English Congregational Chapel Building Society. It may be inferred that in raising so large an amount the congregation, biciencyoth rich and poor, have united in an exercise of liberality which does them great credit. Having been so far successful, the committee felt themselves justified in proceeding with the erection of a building which would cost about £2,000, trusting to the liberality of their friends and the public to make up the deficiency. The building committee, to their honour, taking just views of the connection between religion and art - views which it is graitifying to know have made great progress within the last few years among Nonconformists - came to the resolution of erecting a building at once tasteful and commodious, so that while consulting the comfort of the congregation they might also show that the beautiful and the useful were capable of harmonious combination. They chose for their archtect, Mr Moffat Smith, of Manchester, from whose designs a building will be raised, of which the following will be the principle features:- The style will be Gothic, of the Decorated period, with a tower and spire 90 feet high; and the materials yellow brick, relieved by bands of blue brick and Hollington stone dressings. The church will be in the form of a parallelogram, the interior dimensions being 68ft,4in, by 35ft, with a chancel-like projection containing the organ gallery and a minister's vestry. Underneath will be a schoolroom of the same size, on the ground plan, as the church, and 13feet high. There will be a gallery at the entrance end of the building, but the committee do not intend at present to erect side galleries, and it is to be hoped they will never perpetrate such a solecism in Gothic art.