A BRIEF HISTORY OF ST BEDE’S PARISH
In 1778, when the public celebration of Mass was no longer a crime, the Benedictines started the Morpeth mission of St Bede (later it became the parish of St Robert’s). Bedlington was served by the Morpeth Benedictines until 1841, when it was transferred to the care of the newly established parish of Cowpen.
It was in 1876 that the new parish of St Bede was established in Bedlington under the care of the Benedictines. Fr.Paulinus Hickey OSB was the first priest of the new parish.
The new parish grew quickly. The first priority had been the building of a school in 1865, initially known as St Mary’s. When the parish opened, a new and bigger school was built; the old school chapel, by the addition of a Sanctuary and other alterations, became St.Bede’s Church.
The Benedictines continued to have care of the parish until 1967, when it began to be served by priests of the local diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.
The old church served the parish well, but structural problems led to its replacement in 1992 with the present St.Bede’s Church.
(Acknowledgments to Peter Carr, whose booklet of parish history, published in 2001, is available from the church.)