St Margaret’s church is situated in the suburban setting of Harton, a short distance from the South Shields boundary. The church was established on this site as Cleadon Park Presbyterian Church. The name was changed to St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church when the newly built church was opened in 1952. In 1972 St Margaret’s became part of the newly established United Reformed Church. The building has undergone a number of alterations and improvements over the years and we hold services of worship every Sunday at 10.00am and 6.00pm. St Margaret’s regards itself as a community church and we are happy to make our facilities available to outside organisations and members of the public. We are a key venue in the area for children’s parties for example. All who use our premises or worship with us are assured of a warm welcome.
St Margaret’s history began in 1937 when the former Laygate Presbyterian church in South Shields was in decline. The decision was made to close the Laygate church and found a new church to serve a council housing estate that had been recently built in the Cleadon Park area of the town. The new church was to be known as Cleadon Park Presbyterian Church. Land at the junction of Centenary Avenue and Prince Edward Road was bought for £700 on which a church and hall were to be built. As a temporary measure a wooden structure, affectionately known as ‘the Hut’, was donated by Mr John Chalmers and installed in the grounds where the proposed church was to be built, and this was used until the new church was ready. Work on the new church buildings was started in the summer of 1939 but, sadly, work had to cease because of the outbreak of the Second World War. Work on the new buildings was restarted in 1951, but, because of rising costs, a decision was made to dispense with the construction of a separate Church and Hall. Instead, a multi-purpose Church/Hall was built which eventually opened in 1952. The picture above shows the laying of the foundation stone by the aforementioned Mr John Chalmers.
South Tyneside Pastorate
An amalgamation of the South Tyneside churches began in 1977 when St Margaret’s, along with Ocean Road, St Paul & St John’s and St Andrew’s United Reformed Churches became a group pastorate.
St Andrew’s closed in 1981. The South Shields Group was dissolved in 1985, and the joint pastorate with Ocean Road was established. Ocean Road URC closed in 1989
St Margaret’s became a joint pastorate with St Andrew’s (Hebburn) in 1990.
St Paul & St John’s was added in 2007.