St Oswald’s is a striking Grade II listed church in Dyke House, Hartlepool, County Durham. Built at the turn of the 20th century in the Perpendicular style by Newcastle architect William Searle Hicks, it is notable for its distinctive tower and ten-bell peal as well as the ornate Ralph Hedley woodwork, Evetts stained glass and unique Hope Jones organ. It is a substantial building, originally able to seat 800.
A sub group of the PCC, with representatives from the congregation and Wharton Trust, was formed to work with community to build St Oswald’s into a warm, welcoming, fit for purpose place of worship that offers facilities specifically for music, arts and drama. There is a considerable list of repair needs to prioritise, followed by improvements to access, lighting and heating. Dyke House is an area were community space is lacking, so equipping the church for community use, as well as promoting the heritage, will boost the provisions and the pride amongst the local community. Excellent partnership work with the Wharton Trust has already been demonstrated through the church hall project.
After taking part in Inspired Futures Stage 1 development, St Oswald's was offered support as one of 12 Group 2 churches for the implementation stage of Inspired Futures. In the event the church decided not to proceed further. Participation in Stage 1 has provided the church with a Way Forward report and a Heritage Activities report with assessments and recommendations.