Contacting St. Catherine's

Many people get in touch with clergy for all sorts of reasons. Some may wish their homes to be blessed or are interested in spiritual direction, prayers for healing or would like home communion if they are housebound. Whatever the reason, Vince would be very happy to hear from you.


Why not join our mailing list?  If you do, you will automatically be told about any event coming up.

Go to the 'Contact Form' Page on the right.

Would you like to talk about Marriage or Baptism?

Then come along to church most Wednesdays between 6 and 7 pm to chat with either Vince, the incumbent or Linda his colleague. If you can't manage Wednesday evening, Vince would be happy to hear from you to arrange a more suitable time for a chat. You can contact him on (01388) 760939.

Learn more about Marriage in the Church of England in their official site.

We recognise at St. Catherine's that not everyone wants to take the step of having their children baptised and so we offer a thanksgiving service as well as, or in place of baptism. 

If you would like to learn more about baptism, again please go to the Church of England's official site.  


Perhaps you have found your way to this page because a loved one has died and you may wish to talk to someone. If so, please do contact Canon Vince Fenton or Rev'd Linda Lindsay (see below) who would be very happy to meet with you and help in any way they can. If you would like some information about the funeral service itself, then you can do so on the Church of England's site.

With every blessing.


Canon Vincent Fenton

The Rectory
14 Hartside Close
01388 760939

Contact Vince here

Rev'd Linda Lindsay

Contact Linda here 

Church Records

All but the most recent records of births, marriages and deaths are deposited at the County Record Office, County Hall, Durham. The records are on microfiche so it is necessary to telephone and arrange use of a microfiche reader.

County Record Office,

County Hall,



Tel:(0191) 383 3474


 About War Memorials by John L. Dixon.

 Learn more about the North East War Memorials Project here

We are conscious that, within St Catherine's Church, Crook, we care for several War Memorials of varying types.  Do you realize how many we have, and who they commemorate? 

How did War Memorials develop, and why?

While in the Wear Valley area we have several examples of Boer War, and even earlier, War Memorials, it was the Great War which was the prime catalyst for the development of local Memorials.  

The Great War caused massive social upheaval.  It lasted for over four years - including action in Russia in 1919; many men, and women, were killed or maimed.  Women in Britain took over men's jobs; their contribution helped them to win the vote.  The early practice of the Army recruiting locally for "Pals Battalions" meant that some relatively small communities were hard hit by the scale of casualties, especially from France and Flanders, the Middle East and the Dardanelles.

The Government refused to bring bodies home; the rich tried to bring bodies back, the poor couldn't, so none were allowed to be returned.  But neither could the poor visit foreign cemeteries or Memorials.  People overcame bereavement, in part, by burying or cremating their dead, a process which was thereby denied to everybody with a family casualty. 

The erection of local War Memorials was a Government-inspired initiative which offered something concrete to focus on.  Their 1923 Act allowed local authorities to levy a small rate towards costs and maintenance, a power they still hold.  But local people decided for themselves what form their Memorials would take.

Local War Memorials became surrogate tombstones, which people could visit and pay their respects; the unveiling ceremonies became substitute funeral services, the annual wreath-laying a continuing remembrance of loss.

Not all Memorials are in the open, or even in Churches.  In those impoverished times, some communities erected Memorials aimed at serving the living: hospitals, village halls, playing fields.  Other choices were Church furnishings, birdbaths, rolls of honour, boats, plaques, annuities, libraries, clocks, school prizes, houses, gardens - the variety is astonishing!

Listing those names to be recorded on War Memorials is not an exact science.  Those who moved away, or wanted to get on with life, or hoped their men would return, often didn't offer names for inclusion on Memorials.  Some casualties were orphans, with no-one to put their name forward.  Others, by contrast, had their name commemorated on Memorials in several places, - Parish Church, Chapel, School, place of work, Club, or they had an individual dedication, such as on a seat by the sea, or a window in this Church.

Those with immediate knowledge of casualties named on World War Memorials are themselves passing into history.  War Memorials are evolving into another role - that of reminding us of what happens when the world goes to war. 

Their message for us today is "Lest We Forget". 

The North East War Memorials Project aims to record and document every War Memorial "between Tweed and Tees" Their database, intended to be a respectful remembrance of the sacrifice of those from pre-1974 Durham, Northumberland and Newcastle can be accessed here, and is searchable by name and place.  The Website also contains guidance on how to research War Memorials.  The Project Group welcomes additional information about the Memorials, and those commemorated on them, and is happy to host personal research about casualties on the Website.  

John Dixon