On the 3rd of September 1844 the Parish of All Saints’ was formed due to the need for additional accommodation within the Parish of Monkwearmouth. The Parish Church, St Peter’s had no free seats. The Salem Chapel built in 1815 by the Congregationalists and since vacated was taken over by the Dean and Chapter of Durham and used as a Chapel of Ease.
All Saints’ Parish Hall was built in Fulwell Road in 1904. The financial burden of the Parish Hall was finally settled in September 1907. A commemorative stone was placed in the front wall to celebrate this. Between September 1907 and April 1908 Pentecostal meetings were held in the hall coinciding with All Saints becoming a centre for British Pentecostalism, famous for such moments as Mary Boddy laying hands on the evangelist Smith Wigglesworth. From 1908 to 1914 Boddy hosted a series of Sunderland Conventions, which gained national press attention.
Boddy taught that the purpose of the Holy Spirit was to emphasise Christ, and that divine love was more important than speaking in tongues. He continued to have a high view of the sacraments, and defended the practice of infant baptism. He warned against exaggeration as regards healing testimonies. After visiting the USA, he was disturbed by an emphasis among Pentecostal churches there on money. Unlike some other Pentecostals, he supported the British war effort. The hall was sold in 1996 to the Monkwearmouth Christian Fellowship.
Boddy was inspired by the Holiness Movement, and he had an intense religious experience in 1892. In 1899 his wife Mary experienced a healing from asthma and they both believed that she had a gift for healing through the laying-on of hands. In 1904 he visited Wales during the Welsh Revival, and the following year he travelled to Oslo to experience a religious revival modelled on the events of the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. The leader of the movement, T B Barratt, was invited to Boddy's church, and subsequently Boddy and his wife received the gift of speaking in tounges.
The church was opened for service on the 13th May 1849 and consecrated by the Bishop of Durham, Rev. E. Maltby on the 23rd October 1849. The vicarage was completed in 1852. In 1884 the then Bishop of Durham, J B Lightfoot, appointed Alexander Boddy as vicar of All Saints, a move which would have great significance not just for the congregation but for the whole of British Christian history.
It was decided by Dr. Maltby, the Lord Bishop of Durham, to have All Saints’ Church built. J. Dobson Esq., a well known local architect, was given the task to produce plans for a church which was to be built in the Early English style. The church was built on two acres of land given by the Dean and Chapter of Durham. The church was built for the sum of £2,200
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