Minster Office: 0191 565 4066


Looking Inside painting exhibition 12 March – 11 April 2019

A painting exhibition by Petrica Bistran and Adrian Dobre

This exhibition of painting, addressing the theme of self-examination and confession, in a religious context, brings together for the first time at Sunderland Minster, two Romanian artists, Adrian Dobre and Petrică Bistran. The artists’ body of work form a dialogue and reflect creatively on the interaction between our emotional states and physical spaces which the activity of confession very often entails.

Dobre’s work, through a series of portraits, conveys aspects regarding the inner life. Most of the portraits allude to the psychological condition of confession and bear the mark of a deeply internal journey, implying failure but also the desire for new beginnings recalling the life-changing power of faith in Jesus Christ. Other portraits, however, suggest a more contemplative state of mind rising as a reflection upon the spiritual life.

Bistran produced a series of artworks on the theme of interior as a response to Dobre’s self-reflective paintings. His more colourful paintings are also an exploration of the relationship between stillness and movement, two nouns often used in the language of confession. His interior spaces, however, are empty of human presence, suggesting an aftermath of human activity or simply serve as metaphors for meditation.

There is an opportunity for the public to engage with the art works in a more spiritual way through prayer and meditation, and to meet the artists on the following dates:

19 March & 9 April at 7:00 pm. All are welcome!

A Lesotho Diary

Come and find out more about the Kingdom in the Sky and raise support for work with Child Headed households by the Durham- Lesotho link.

Fundraising supper – bring your own bottle.

Tickets £5

Messy Church – “Getting ready for Jesus the King”

Messy Church – Church but with a difference on Saturday 24th November at 11o’clock.

All ages welcome for crafts, music, prayer, fun and food.

Why not come along?

Sunderland Interfaith Week at the Minster

On Saturday 17th November the Minster will be hosting a ceilidh for all ages. Starting at 6pm until 8.30pm there will be dancing and food. Tickets are £5 or free for under 16s and students.

Bring the whole family and all your friends for an evening of fun.


On Sunday 18th the Interfaith Walk of Friendship sets off from Sunderland Minster at 12.30, going onto the Gurdwara and the mosque at 3pm.  For further details contact Chris Howson chaplain@sunderland.ac.uk

Messy Church

Messy Minster is back this Saturday 27th October from 11 o’clock there will be church with a difference for families and children at the Minster. The theme this week is “Friends of Jesus”.

Crafts,music, activities, prayers, fun and food.

All are welcome.

The Big Lunch

This year’s Big Lunch took place on the Minster Green on Sunday 3rd June at 12pm.

Bring and Share Lunch, games, Bouncy Castle in the Minster! This was a great family and community event, part of the Eden project’s BIG LUNCH movement.

Saying Goodbye

The Saying Goodbye service took place on Sunday 22nd April. This was the second in a set of national remembrance services for people who have experiences baby loss, whether during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.Around 50 people attended the service which it is hoped will become an annual event at the Minster.

The service is organised by the Mariposa Trust which held it’s first service in 2012, and celebrated it’s 100th service at the end of 2017 in Westminster, London.

Sadly baby loss affects around 1 in 4 pregnancies each year in the UK, with nearly 700 babies lost each day. When the parents go through the devastating loss of a baby, whether during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy, they often feel isolated and unable to process the overwhelming grief and trauma that miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and early years loss brings. The service allows people to stand with others who have experienced the similar trauma of baby loss and collectively acknowledge and remember each life lost.

Easter at the Minster

Holy Week and Easter is rapidly approaching. There will be services in the Minster each evening  – Monday 26th March to Thursday 29th March from 7pm to 8pm. Monday to Wednesday there will be Holy Communion and Address and on Thursday there will be Sung Eucharist; Stripping of the Altars and Watch.

On Good Friday morning prayers will take place at 9am followed by the walk to Tunstall Hill  for a service at 10am. The Liturgy of the Passion will take place in the Minster from 2pm to 3pm.

Easter Day – 1st April – will start on Roker Beach at sunrise – gather at 6.40am for a short service. Festal Eucharist and Baptisms will be at 9.45am. There is no FEAST this week

News from Durham Diocese

The Venerable Stuart Bain is stepping down from his role as Archdeacon of Sunderland to become Provost of Sunderland Minster where he will focus on growing its presence in the heart of the City of Sunderland.

After nearly 16 years as an Archdeacon, and more than 37 years of ordained ministry in the Diocese, Stuart felt that it was time to take-stock and to direct his energies where his gifts would have the maximum benefit for the community.

Originally from Newcastle, he was ordained in 1980 and has held posts throughout the Diocese becoming Archdeacon of Sunderland in 2002.

He said: “This just felt like the right time to look at how my remaining years of ministry before retirement could be best used to benefit the people and the City of Sunderland. I have been looking after Sunderland Minster for the last year since Sheila Bamber retired to focus on community engagement. Throughout that time, I have felt called to work more closely in the Minster, with its community and to develop its key role at the heart of the City.

“The calling became ever louder over the summer and so in conversation with the Bishop of Durham, I wanted to explore the possibility of stepping back from my wider duties as Archdeacon and to become the full time Canon Provost of Sunderland Minster. Bishop Paul graciously agreed and we are now in discussion to ensure that the transition is as smooth and seamless as possible.”

The Rt Revd, Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said: “I am delighted that Stuart is going to be the next Provost of Sunderland Minster. He will take all his energies, skills and experience and invest them in a key role at the centre of our Diocese’s largest city; a place where he can lead and help the Minster and City to flourish.”

Although he will step down from being Archdeacon sometime in the spring of 2018, he will continue to Chair the Durham Diocesan Board of Education until the end of his term in late 2018. He will also remain as Chair of the Dayspring Multi Academy Trust and of Wynyard CofE Primary School.

Stuart will be licensed at Sunderland Minster on Saturday 17th March at 3pm.

All Souls Memorial Service 5th November

This year Sunderland Minster and The University of Sunderland Chaplaincy will be hosting their annual All Souls Memorial Service at Sunderland Minster on Sunday 5th November at 4.30pm


We warmly invite you to join us on that day to give thanks for the lives of friends and loved ones who have died, to come together in prayer, to acknowledge the love of God, and to embrace his compassion and healing presence.  There will be an opportunity for you to light a candle and to specifically hear the name of your relative or friend read out during the service.


During the year the memorial book is displayed in a case near the candle stand at the Bede Chapel entrance, and the pages are turned regularly (the case can also be opened on request).  If you would like to add the name of a loved one, please contact the Minster office with their full name and dates of birth and death, and we will arrange for the entry to be made.  We ask for a small donation of £15 for this.

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