Pupils from Victoria Jubilee School, Newcastle-on-Tyne, were evacuated to Temple Sowerby during the 1939/45 War and were taught by Headmistress, Miss Bates and Assistant Teacher, Mrs. Barker, in the Victory Hall which was not altogether suitable. The then Vicar, Rev. G. Harding, conceived the idea that an old barn at the rear of the Vicarage should be used as a schoolroom and a Church Hall. He received great support from the village people. The official opening took place in March 1941 and was attended by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Newcastle-on-Tyne. The Lord Mayor said he had come to pay a compliment to the people of Temple Sowerby for looking after their children.
After Temple Sowerby was united with the Parish of Kirkby Thore, the Vicarage was sold and used as a Land Army Hostel during the 1939-45 War. The Church Hall was used as a school canteen for many years before being sold in the 1990s.
In 1995 an exchange visit for one year was arranged when Rev. Ian McLoughlin went to Taralga, New South Wales, Australia, and Rev. Colin Place from Taralga, took the services at Kirkby Thore, Temple Sowerby and Newbiggin Churches.
0n 18th and 19th September 1999 a Millennium Fund Raising event was held in the Church when Mary & Alice O’Keeffe organised ‘A Wedding has been Arranged’. Bridal fashions through the ages were on display which covered 150 years and featured some 90 wedding outfits loaned by 69 families. The interior of the church was decorated with bridal gowns, floral arrangements, wedding cakes and presents. Organists played throughout the two days. The oldest bridal gown, dating from 1849, was a tiny brown velvet dress. It is still a tradition today in the village that following a marriage ceremony the Church gates are tied by the local children who demand ‘a ransom’ before allowing the newlywed couple to leave.
In 2003 a “Celebration in Flowers” took place in St. James’ Church, which was organised by local resident Mrs. Dorothy Allen and raised money for the refurbishment of Temple Sowerby Victory Hall. There were 12 displays in all, each representing a special day throughout the year, from Burns’ Night and Valentine’s Day through to Bonfire Night and Christmas. Some years later a repeat event featured flower arrangements from each of the many sport and leisure groups within the village.