St. Anne's History
St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church was built in 1957, to serve new housing estates in the Pennywell area. Seating 400, it was built from designs by Matkin and Hawkins of Sunderland, and the builder was Mr J. Cummings. The church was opened and blessed by Bishop Cunningham on the 21st November 1957.
In 1960, the presbytery was added and in 1961 a narthex addition was put on the church, both from the designs of Matkin and Hawkins. The primary school to the side and rear of the church was built soon after that.
A Lady Chapel, which contains some modern glass depicting vines, is situated to the south side of the sanctuary and sacristies give off the north side.
Since the opening there have been eight parish priests, and today the parish of St Anne’s is served by Father Louis who is a member of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. Throughout the years St Anne’s, have, as a community, celebrated hundreds if not thousands of weddings, christenings, communions and funerals. One of the first weddings being between Mr Duncan and Miss Alcock on the 20th June 1959 with the service delivered by Father Hugo Slavin. Many families have both celebrated and mourned together over the years bringing together people within Pennywell at the most important times in their lives.
Mass times at St Annes are Monday and Friday at 9.15am and on a Sunday at 11am. There are a range of activities that happen every week in the parish centre – prayer meetings, yoga, bingo, slimming world and nearly every month the parishioners organise a ceilidh, curry and karaoke or a barbeque to support the young people to go to Lourdes. The next ceilidh to support our young people’s pilgrimage to Lourdes is being held on Friday 24th November at the South Hylton WMC and tickets are available from Joanne McKenna on 07793287941.
St Anne’s church continues to be at the heart of the Pennywell/South Hylton area and the parish is going from strength to strength with a cross section of dedicated, hardworking parishioners who can always be relied upon to offer a warm and Christian welcome to the local community and beyond.