In October 1850 St. Matthew's chapel of ease, built on land given by the Earl of Durham and seating approximately 200 people was opened for worship. The chapel being at that time within the parish of Houghton-le-Spring. The first three persons baptised in the chapel were William Beeney, David Cameron (not the politician) and Mary Ann Dawson, the daughter of John and Ann Dawson. Ann Dawson aged 26 years was the first person buried in the churchyard nine months later on 15th August 1851. Marriages began in 1851 with the marriage of Robinson John Hobson, a local farmer and Margaret Spoors of Newbottle.

The chapel of ease served the village community until 1885 when it was demolished because it was thought too small and the present building, designed by architects Oliver & Lesson of Newcastle and built of Penshaw grey firestone by Hursts of Sunderland and Newcastle at a cost of three thousand and eighty seven pounds, was completed in 1886.

After the addition of the main entrance porch two years later and apart from the reslating of the church roof in 1996 the church building has stood the test of time and remained as it was designed.

In 1886 the Christian folk of Newbottle worshipped in our present building for the first time. It is the prayer of the congregation of St. Matthew's that the people of our local community will continue to worship God in His beautiful Church on the Hill.