St John the Baptist Church Low Dinsdale

The other Riverside Churches

The Riverside Churches Joint Vision Statement:

“We are rooted in, and motivated by, our faith. We seek to share God's love for all by reaching out to our communities through acts of generous and loving service to meet the spiritual and practical needs we encounter. Through this, both we, and our communities, will be transformed by the power of Christ.”

St Laurence's Church

St Laurence’s Church

St Laurence's Church

St Laurence's Church

St Laurence’s Church closed for public worship in 2008 and the church moved to St George’s Academy. In 2012 the St Laurence’s was sold and is now (2019) being developed into a single detached residence.

The church has retained most of the churchyard and the Garden of Remembrance which is open for the internment of ashes.

Following the loss of St Laurence’s we have found our move to the academy has given us the freedom to have different styles of worship including ‘Café Church.

St George’s Academy

St George’s Academy

Following the closure of St Laurence’s Church building in 2008 due to structural problems, the congregation moved on a temporary basis to worship in St George’s Church of England Academy.

We are a group of ordinary people of all ages and walks of life joined together by a common belief in Jesus Christ. Once a week on Sundays we meet in St George’s Academy to worship God, listen and sometimes get involved in bible-based sermons and talks, and share friendship together.

St George’s Academy is a modern (2007), Church of England Academy for primary aged children. The church works in partnership with the school; a relationship which is valued by both school and church.

Every Sunday we hold a service which is informal and family-friendly with both contemporary and traditional music and different styles of worship. There are teaching groups for children and teens.

The service formats vary week by week. The Service of The Word is usually led by members of our lay team

Services of Holy Communion are held, but the pattern changes to accommodate festivals and other special events.

We also have All Age Worship services with participation and activities.

A Café Church style service is also held infrequently. This is a time for us to discuss questions, and share thoughts with each other over a cup of coffee or tea.

Every Sunday a crèche area is provided, and parents and carers are able to hear the service from this area. We aim for all of our services to be accessible to all ages.

St George Church, Low Middleton

St George’s Church, Low Middleton

The old medieval church of St George stands virtually alone amongst fields, close to the south-west end of the runway of Durham Teesside International Airport, some 2 km to the east of the present village of Middleton One Row. It stands on what is thought to have been the site of a Saxon church, although what is seen now is generally dated 13th and 14th centuries, though much altered. The archaeological assessment notes the presumption that the simple nave and chancel of the 13th/14th century was mostly rebuilt in approximately 1822, the nave extended to the north, creating what could be termed a north aisle, and the chancel being completely rebuilt to an elongated and wider plan. In 1883 a tower to the west gable was built, (only to be demolished in the 1960’s), and in 1888 a ‘grand’ restoration was carried out, including stripping, repointing, ceiling and pew removal, new timber windows and various alterations to openings in brickwork.

Elements that are of particular significance are the chancel arch, and the south wall of the nave, including window and door openings; these are thought to date from the 13th and 14th centuries. The later additions in the early 19th century to the nave (north aisle), and rebuilding of the chancel, have positive architectural merit in their own right. Restoration work was carried out in 2011 when the church was re-roofed and the wooden window frames replaced along with repointing and decorating.

There are no facilities at St George’s, no water, electricity waste etc. so our main Sunday services are held in St George’s Church of England Academy in the centre of the village. St George’s Church is used for weddings, baptisms and funeral services. Public services are held at St George’s during Lent and Advent, at Christmas and Easter and at other times. Well over 1000 people attended some form of service at St George’s Church each year in recent times.

In February 2003 Peter F Ryder Historic Buildings Consultant carried out ‘An Archaeological Assessment’, he wrote, ‘This is rather a sad little church, which seems likely to face redundancy in the near future. Changing tastes mean that its simplicity and humility are now likely to be seen as attributes, and its unimproved rural interior, never provided with mains services, seems to have entirely skipped the 20th century. The intemperate language of antiquaries such as the Rev Hodgson, (1779 – 1845) whose opinion of the building - ‘one of the very smallest and most despicable - perhaps the very meanest and most beggarly in the County of Durham’ is a period piece in itself.’

We do not believe this.

St George’s Church is a delightful building in a rural setting with much to offer.

Visitors are invited to contact one of the Churchwardens to gain access.