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St Giles Church, Durham facts for kids

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St Giles Church
St Giles Church, Durham
St Giles Church, Gilesgate, Durham.jpg
Location Durham, County Durham
Country England
Denomination Church of England
Tradition Central
Functional status Active
Years built c.1112
Number of towers One
Diocese Durham (since 1000)
Province York
Bishop(s) Paul Butler
Canon(s) Revd Canon Dr. Alan Bartlett
Director of music Andrew Robinson/Graeme Morgan

St. Giles Church is a grade I listed parish church in Gilesgate, Durham, England.

The church was constructed as the hospital chapel of the Hospital of St Giles and was dedicated in on St Barbara's Day, June 1112 by Bishop Flambard to "the honour of God and St Giles". The church became caught up in an 1140 dispute over the bishopric of Durham following the usurpation of the diocese by William Cumin, Chancellor of King David I of Scotland. William of St. Barbara, the rightly elected Bishop, was forced to retreat to, and fortify, the church after his abortive entry into Durham was beaten back by Cumin's men. In response Cumin's men destroyed the hospital, which was later refounded at nearby Kepier.

Bishop Puiset later extended the church to reflect its role at the centre of a growing parish, and the current font is believed to date from this time. The church was appropriated to Kepier Hospital which acted as rector, receiving tithes and with the advowson (right to appoint a vicar), appointing a parochial chaplain to minister to the needs of the parish.

John Heath, the Elizabethan owner of the Kepier estates, Gilesgate and Old Durham is buried in the church.

The ecclesiastical parish of St Giles was divided in 1852 with the creation of a new Belmont parish, served from church of St Mary Magdalene, Belmont and covering Belmont, Gilesgate Moor and New Durham.

St Giles Church retains some of Flambard's original building (primarily the north wall) and most of Puiset's additions. Minor restoration and three large windows inserted into the south wall in 1828. The church was restored and extended in 1873-1876 as the parish continued to grow.

The Revd Canon Dr Alan B. Bartlett is the current vicar of St Giles since Summer 2008.

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