St. Nicholas Church has been serving the community of Durham for over a thousand years. Standing at Walker Gate, one of the old gates to the city, St Nics was the place people would pop into for prayer as they would leave the city. When they returned, they would give thanks to God for getting home safely.
The church carried on through the Reformation and turbulent centuries which followed. More than surviving, St Nics prospered and the church building was rebuilt in 1858 by the vicar at the time, Revd. George Townshend Fox. He funded the restoration project, including the current spire. Fortunately Fox's nephew salvaged some of the old building materials and he repurposed the wood from the old belfry to make the communion table that still stands in our chapel.
The church in the market place continued to be a source of light for the city of Durham and was reordered in 1980. George Carey, the vicar at the time and who would later become the Archbishop of Canterbury, took out the old pews, brought in some modern and more comfortable chairs, and rearranged the layout for one that faces the marketplace. He wanted to remind church members that this church exists to worship Jesus and serve this community. His vision was that the church should be open to the marketplace, a place of warmth and welcome and a building which express the hospitality of God and serve people in the twenty-first century.