'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.' - Luke 18:16

The Ark is a Methodist Church which is part of the South West Tyneside Circuit. Until a few years ago people worshipped here when it was known as Robert Young Memorial Church. When the local congregation decided to “cease to meet” for a variety of reasons, the circuit made the decision to maintain a church centre in the building but to explore new ways of being church and so The Ark was born.

It is still very much a church even though we have a play centre and a café. It is a church with a difference.

Church Community

The Ark hosts a family friendly service called ‘Breakfast Church’ on a monthly basis.  Find out more information here. We also meet 3-4 times a year as a “Gathering” of people who feel The Ark is a place to explore faith and develop a sense of community. We do however, share a “Way of Life” and a Prayer Diary, which means we are able to support each other and the community in prayer every day. This is a church community in progress and is new monastic in nature.

If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact our minister, Rev. Janet Capstick on 0191 4132494


As a place of worship we are able to conduct baptisms. We have already baptised many babies and children in the last few years and we enjoy celebrating with these families as the child is entered into the church family of The Ark. If you are interested in considering a baptism at The Ark please call into the Reception and ask for a leaflet which explains how this can be arranged and how we conduct the services.


As a registered building we are also able to conduct weddings. Our minister is the Authorised Person for The Ark and is therefore authorised to conduct weddings. Our centre can take approximately 60 adults plus children attending. We are unable to allow alcohol on the premises as we are a Methodist Church but we do have the option of celebrating your wedding after the service with a traditional afternoon tea. If you are considering a wedding at The Ark please ask for Weddings leaflet at Reception or contact Rev. Janet Capstick on 0191 4132494


As a play centre and café it may seem strange that The Ark can take funerals but it is a Place of Worship and therefore it is willing and able to offer this service if The Ark is the most appropriate place to someone who has died. This may especially be the case for someone who attended Robert Young Memorial Church or indeed the death of a child who maybe regularly attended The Ark and was therefore an important place for them. If a funeral was to take place the play centre and café would obviously be closed to the general public to enable it to be a private ceremony.

If a funeral is required please speak to Rev. Janet Capstick or contact your local Funeral Directors who can make contact with us.

RE lessons

As a church we are also able to offer RE lessons to local schools. We have run a few of these in the last few years on varying subject areas, Christmas, Easter and parables. The children (one class at a time) are told a story on the play frame which is interactive and then activities are completed by the children at the tables relating to the story.

These lessons are run by pre-booked appointment. The further in advance you are able to book, the better. If you wish to discuss this possibility for your school, please contact Rev. Janet Capstick.


Community Session

Every Monday The Ark provides a private session that local community groups/schools are able to book out for free and have exclusive use! Donations are hugely appreciated.
Groups that have benefited from these sessions include support groups for children and adults with learning difficulties, local charities and school groups for interactive R.E. lessons.

Sessions run from 1:30-3:00pm and must be booked in advance. Please do not arrive prior to 1:30pm. We will provide you with free squash for the children.  Please note, the cafe will be closed during this session.

The sessions are for the benefit of multiple community groups and cannot be block booked.  They can be booked out for a maximum of twice per month.  This is on a first come first served basis.

Keep in touch

0191 413 1339