The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will visit Emmanuel Church, Saltburn, on Saturday 16th June for a 2.00pm service as part of the year-long celebration of the church’s 150th anniversary, followed by a picnic in the church grounds.

Emmanuel Church was founded in 1867 to serve the new resort and town of Saltburn, which was developing rapidly within the historic parish of Marske at the initiative of Darlington entrepreneur Henry Pease, MP for South Durham and one of the Directors of the pioneering Stockton & Darlington Railway.

Vicar of Marske the Revd E A Lane had taken the first service in Saltburn on Ash Wednesday 1863 in the stables of the Zetland Hotel (it began with the hymn 'All people that on earth do dwell'). After four months services moved to the First Class Waiting Room at the newly-built Saltburn Station, where the congregation met for a year until in 1864 a facility was built on Ruby Street, and for many years after the building of Emmanuel this remained as the Sunday School and Church Hall.

Today’s Emmanuel Church, designed by W P Pritchett of Darlington, was built in stages on a site given by William Morley, who is believed to have chosen the name ‘Emmanuel’ (a biblical word meaning “God with us”).

After the Earl of Zetland laid the foundation stone on the 29th September 1867, he held some corn, wine and oil in his hand and said “I strew this corn as an emblem of plenty, I pour this wine as an emblem of joy and I pour this oil as an emblem of peace and comfort.”

Vicar of Saltburn the Reverend Adam Reed said, “This is a great year of celebrations at the church and Archbishop Sentamu’s visit is a highlight. He often says the church should be good at prayer and parties, and we’re doing both.”

Dr John Sentamu said, “Emmanuel Church is a faithful witness to God’s love and generosity for all those who live here and for the thousands who come to enjoy the seaside every year – we give thanks for the first 150 years and commit the future to him because we know that ‘God is with us’!”