Within the town of Bishop Auckland we have one Catholic Parish and two churches, namely St Wilfrid’s in Hexham Street and St Mary’s in Vart Road. The Parish of St Mary and St Wilfrid is part of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle (RCDHN). We welcome anyone who wishes to join us at our Masses and services or wants to get involved in any way with parish life or the local community projects.
Originally running as two separate parishes more recent changes have seen St Mary and St Wilfrid combine and work together as one. The parish also incorporates the outlying areas of St Chad’s of Witton Park and St Paulinus (previously St Philomena’s) of St Helen Auckland. We are a forward-looking parish and know we need to respond to a changing world. We need to change how we do things to enable us to continue providing a parish for the future where we can worship God, share the gospel and serve those around us.
St Wilfrid’s Church
St Wilfrid’s Church was built in 1846, to serve the increasing Catholic population of Bishop Auckland, as Irish immigrants came to provide labour for the new industries in the area. Before this, priests of the Jesuit order travelled from Durham to serve Catholics in Bishop Auckland. St Wilfrid’s was the main Catholic parish in the area for almost 100 years until two further Parishes were created in the area in the 1950s: St Mary’s and St Paulinus’. St Wilfrid’s aims to be a welcoming Christian community for all who come in contact with the parish.
St Mary’s Church
St Mary’s Parish is a caring, welcoming community who worship together, work together and play together. We value our past history but are forward looking. St Mary’s, being the more modern church, houses the resident priest Father Dennis Tindall. St Mary’s was built and came into being in 1956 to serve the influx of residents to Woodhouse Close estate and the surrounding area.