Fr Raymond Hooper served as Vicar of the Parish from 1940 until his untimely death in 1974 after he had suffered severe head injuries during an attack which took place in the Vicarage. At this time, Fr Hooper had been very fearful for the future and viability of the Parish as many of the old houses were being cleared and people were having to move out of the town to the new estates. From 1974 until 1979, St Columba`s was looked after by the clergy at All Saints` Church.
Then in 1979, Fr Ted Appleyard was appointed Priest in Charge and Chaplain to St Luke`s Hospital. In 1980, the old Church Hall adjacent to St Columba`s was demolished to make way for the route of the A66. As a result, St Columba`s received compensation payments from the local authority to create community facilities – kitchen, hall, toilets within the church building itself. This cut down the worship space considerably and the Font had to be moved from the west door to the north side. There is still space for 150 and so it has a more intimate feel!
Fr Roger Guiver followed in 1985 – again as Priest in Charge, but Chaplain to Middlesbrough General Hospital. In 1994. Fr Stephen Cooper succeeded Fr Guiver –combining the same two posts – until the closure of Middlesbrough General in 2003, and then his part-time chaplaincy post was moved to The James Cook University Hospital.
In 1999, the chapel area behind the High Altar at St Columba`s was dedicated as a worship space for the local Greek Orthodox Community of The Annunciation by Archbishop Gregorios. A Sharing Agreement between Anglicans and Orthodox now exists for shared use of the church building.
In 2002, the Centenary of the Church was celebrated with a visit from the then Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope. The Archbishop dedicated a new westward-facing altar as part of these celebrations.
In 2005, Fr Cooper – in relinquishing his hospital chaplaincy – also became Priest in Charge ofSt Johnthe Evangelist. On 1st January 2009, Fr Cooper became Vicar after it was agreed that the two posts be held together in Plurality.