St. John the Divine - The History
In 1872, the Rev. William Cassidi being vicar of Grindon at that time, formed the Parish which by decree 'shall be named The District of Stillington' - the village of Stillington was then known as the Village of Carlton Iron Works. The Parish was formed from parts of the Parishes of Grindon (above Railway line) and Redmarshall (below Railway Line). In 1980 the parishes of Stillington & Grindon were combined and in 1982 combined with Redmarshall, Bishopton and Great Stainton (which had already combined in 1977)
Life for the church started with services in a carpenters shop on the Industrial site, then in Cassidi Hall (built in 1875 at the bottom of West Street) prior to the build and dedication of the Church on 29th. June 1880 at a cost of £2,822.
The Vicarage was built in 1884 for £1,850 and in 1982 when the parishes combined the building was sold to become a private dwelling, until then the resident vicar lived in Morrison Street, which was adjacent to the land secured from Carlton Iron Works for the site of the church. The Churchyard was consecrated in 1877.
At the end of the 1914-1918 1st. World War, the Golden Eagle Lecturn was purchased by local parishioners as a memorial dedicated to the local men who had served, 30 of whom lost their lives and are are remembered on the Roll of Honour plaque in the Church, another plaque hangs on the North Wall erected in 1925 recording the dates of Office of all the vicars from 1872. During the 2nd. World War due to lack of repair the building fabric deteriated with boken windows etc. In 1948 Rev Jasper replaced the East Window with Special Plain Glass and the West window as a Memorial Window to those who had served in the 1939-1945 World War Two, he also motivated the redecoration of the interior.
In the early 50's the ownership of Cassidy Hall was transferred to the Workingmans Club Committee, being an 'incumberance to the church' because of repairs needed.
Rev Jasper also started 'The Stillington Parish Players' who performed several Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas.
Rev. Weare in his time formed the Companies of both Boys and Girls Brigades also Brownies.
In 1978, dry rot in the roof structure was found, quotes were reported at £30,000 and by 1980 the building was reported unsafe, however local parishioner Peter Featherstone devised a method of replacing the 5 plynth, sprocket and trusses which supported main roof timbers and with the help of Peter Dilks completed the job at a cost of £300. - fish plates had been donated by Clarks and scaffolding loaned by Mr Hesletine of Thorpe, earning them all congratulations from the diocean Architect and the eternal gratitude of the congregation.
In 1983/84 Cleveland County Education Authority planned to close Wynyard and Stillington Schools, after protest, it was decided to combine the two and make Stillington a Church of England School. It was agreed to rename the school William Cassidi after the vicar who started the Parish and secured the church in the village