Sense of pride as historic lychgate is restored and rededicated

First published on: 8th May 2024

A Victorian lychgate which was demolished following a road accident three years ago has been restored to its former glory.

Built in 1885, the landmark has provided the entrance to St John’s Church in Longhirst near Morpeth for 125 years.

But the community was devastated in 2021 when the historic structure collapsed, after a being struck by a pick-up truck.

Now, following three years of work behind the scenes and on site, the lychgate was rededicated on Sunday 5 May by the Archdeacon of Lindisfarne, the Venerable Catherine Sourbut Groves.

She said: “I am delighted to rededicate this historic lychgate following an accident back in 2021. The whole lychgate collapsed and it has been quite a journey getting to this point again. 

“It is a gateway, an entrance into this sacred space. It was built just a few years after the church, in 1885, and it’s a real symbol of welcome as people come in to the church.

“It’s quite a landmark and there was a sense of loss and grief following the accident. Local people, as well as those who regularly worship at St John’s are really delighted to see it restored and rededicated. It’s a lovely day for the parish.”

Chris Lediard, chairman of the Parochial Church Council at St John’s, said there was dismay and amazement in the aftermath of the accident.

A bureaucratic process followed but despite a three-year delay, which included weather-related and other unexpected disruptions, Mr Lediard said it was great to finally appoint contractors to carry out the restoration work.

He added: “Tiles for the roof had to be specially made, but when they were being delivered the lorry had an accident in which they got broken and had to be remade – so it all just takes time.

“Eventually it has been completed and the contractors have done a wonderful job. We are extremely proud of it.”

Mr Lediard added that Northumberland County Council would be providing bollards to help direct traffic away from the lychgate to protect the structure.

Photo & Video Credit: Morpeth News TV


Powered by Church Edit