St Paul's is a living church and is the parish church of Jarrow.
Visitors are warmly welcome to explore the magnificent building and grounds in which it resides.
The Church is home to remarkable coloured stained glass windows, with some of the glass dating back an incredible 1300 years – still in place as a window today.
The chancel is a direct survival from the 7th century when it was a free-standing chapel in the monastery. Inside the church, cemented into the wall of the tower, is the original stone slab which records, in a Latin inscription, the dedication of the church on 23rd April, 685 AD.
The inscription reads:
SCI PAUL VIIII KL MAI
ANNO XV EFRIDI REG
CEOLFRIDI ABB EIUSDEM
Q ECCLES DO AVCTORE
CONDITORIS ANNO IIII
Translation: ‘The dedication of the basilica of St. Paul on the 9th day before the Kalens of May in the 15th year of King Ecgfrith and in the fourth year of Abbot Ceolfrith founder, by God's guidance, of the same church.’
There is also a permanent exhibition with a host of beautifully carved stones complete with literature on what their purpose would have been all those years ago.
Behind the church you can see remains of the Benedictine monastery of the Middle Ages, which was re-founded on the site of Bede's monastery. Remains of buildings from Bede's day were found in excavations and their positions have been marked out on the ground for visitors to engage with the surroundings and have a greater understanding of the buildings that would have stood there 1300 years ago.
The Jarrow Lecture dates back to 1958 and is given annually in St Paul's Church on an aspect of the life and work of Bede or of Anglo-Saxon history or culture. The 2014 lecture took place on Friday 23rd May.
St Paul's Church is opened by volunteers and can usually be visited during the following times:
For history and pilgrim groups, contact the verger, Jimmy Guy, on 0191 489 6670 for bookings.
To contact St Paul's Church, call 0191 489 7052
To contact the Parish Office, call 0191 489 1925