History of St Martin's Church

St Martin's Church History St Martin's Church in Byker was founded in 1933. It was a daughter church of St Michael and All Angels, Byker (sometimes known as Byker Parish Church). As the houses in the fields between Byker and Walker were filled with houses, a red brick parish hall was constructed at the junction between Welbeck Road and Roman Avenue. This served as a meeting place for the local community and as a place for worship - every Saturday evening chairs were put out in preparation for Sunday. St Martin's Church Altar A small field had been left vacant at the southern end of the site and the long term hope was that a traditional style church would be built on it. These hopes were thwarted when the second world war started. However, the parish hall was extended in the late 1960's with the addition of an upstairs hall.

In the early 1970's, St Martin's pioneered auxiliary ministry when local church members were officially authorised to share in the tasks of ministry with their parish priest. Much creative work was done and the 'Tea Club' which was formed during this time, still runs over 30 years later. St Martin's Church Pews In 1976 St Martin's became a parish in its own right. Pews were imported and the downstairs kitchen was replaced by a vestry.

At the end of the 1990's the future of St Martin's was uncertain. Byker had severely depopulated and indices of multiple deprivation were amongst the highest in the country. The congregation had fallen in number and there were very few children and families. Nevertheless, members of the Parish Church Council (PCC) were determined to find a future and in 2000, formed a number of working groups to look at the future of the parish.

One of the visions actioned by the PCC, was the creation of a new church centred community building to replace the old parish hall, St Martin's Centre.