It is Day 4 of my Mary Stewart Advent Calendar – a challenge to myself to post something about Mary Stewart every day until 24 December – and it is Sunday. So I have decided to illustrate the story of Mary’s childhood by  posting about the next of Mary’s father‘s churches, St Mary Magdalene (I posted about the Sunderland church in which he served in A Merry Mary Stewart Christmas! 1 December).

St Mary Magdalene Church, Trimdon

In November 1917 the Rev Frederick Albert Rainbow became vicar of St Mary Magdalene in Trimdon in the diocese of Durham, and so the Rainbows moved to Trimdon. They lived there for seven years, from when Mary was one until she was eight years old. As Mary was sent away to boarding school aged eight, not long after the family moved to Shotton Colliery, then many of her memories of childhood and home must have revolved around Trimdon. This is reflected in her talk about her childhood in the ‘Off the Page’ television interview that she gave.

St Mary Magdalene’s, an Anglican church, dates back to the year 1145 and sits on the village green. If you want to know more about Trimdon, I recommend (again) the wonderful Trimdon Times website.

Here are some more views of the church, photographed in October when I visited the village.


Finally, there is a paving-stone at the entrance to St Mary Magdalene’s. It reads: ‘On this spot the Prime Minister, the RT Hon Tony Blair MP, announced the tragic death of “The People’s Princess” Diana Princess of Wales. Sunday 31st August 1997.’

Paving stone outside St Mary Magdalene Church, Trimdon