Minster Office: 0191 565 4066


Sunderland Minster blog

Durham Hymns

This major new work for brass band and choir was commissioned by Northern Regional Brass Band Trust in partnership with Durham County Council to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Lyrics, for a suite of new hymns, by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, inspired by the true-life experiences of County Durham people and commemorating their sacrifice, courage and endurance.

The Durham Hymns        Saturday 18th March, 2017 @ 19:30

Durham Miners’ Association Brass Band

The Centenary Choir and Voices of Hope

LYRICS: Carol Ann Duffy       MUSIC: Orlando Gough, Jessica Curry

 Saturday 18 March 2017 7.30pm         Sunderland Minster

Tickets: £12.00 (£8.00 concessions) from Minster Office.

Minster Provost to retire and focus on high-impact community work

Minster Provost to retire and focus on high-impact community work

The Revd Canon Sheila Bamber, Provost of Sunderland Minster  has announced that she will be taking early phased retirement in order to put more emphasis on her work on several high impact community projects.


Canon Bamber said: ““For some months now I have been thinking and praying about what God is asking of me in the last years of my active ministry.  I am already sure that I would like to give more time to the things that brought me to the North East originally – you will have heard me talk about my role as a door to door rent collector being ‘the best job’ ever, and so I would like to find more time for issues around poverty in all its forms, and for supporting leadership in all our communities.


“I am mindful that this is a key time in the life of the Minster, as we are looking with others at the shape of mission and ministry over the next 5-10 years.  In the light of all this, I feel that this is the moment to step down from stipendiary (paid) ministry and allow time to find a successor to lead the Minster into the next period of bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to Sunderland.


“For me, this is the beginning of a phased retirement plan, when I will serve the church and community as a self supporting minister for a few years, and also develop my interests with Communities Together Durham and Citizens UK.


The Rt Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow said: “Sheila, will be an immense loss to the Minster and to wider Sunderland. In the time she has been Provost she has worked tirelessly to develop ways in which the Minster can relate to the whole of Sunderland. There have been deeply memorable services involving many members of the community. It was the first place that Archbishop Justin Justin Welby came after he was announced as Archbishop of Canterbury – to take part in one of the initiatives Sheila championed along with the City Council and Sunderland Churches focused on food poverty.


“I know that Sheila has been thinking and praying hard in recent months about the best way for her to serve the church and community in the North East in the remaining years before she retires. Moving on is in many ways a brave and courageous decision and I know that I and I am certain many others wish her well for all that lies ahead.”


Canon Bamber became Provost of Sunderland Minster in 2012 before that she was a residentiary canon of Newcastle Cathedral after holding several senior appointments in the Diocese of Durham.

The Snowdogs are coming!

The Snowdogs are coming to the Minster.


Drop in and meet our new friends, or make a date for some special fun.

Activities and crafts 24th – 27th October 10am – 1pm. Monday to Thursday of half term week – there will be a small charge for activities)

The Snowman Party Tree 4th December at 2pm  – help us decorate our special Christmas tree (and make something to take home for your tree too!)

Watch out for more news of the Snowman and Snowdog at the Minster.




An exciting summer holiday club for families (children age 0 -11 years), this year with an Olympic theme. With Bible stories, music, crafts, friendship and food. Come along and be part of the fun.

Each Tuesday in August from 10am to 1pm, cost £1 per child, per day.


Baldock Pope Zahle

Baldock Pope Zahle

“Yahweh and the Seraphim” (1995) by Nicholas Pope is being exhibited in the Minster while other works by Baldock Pope and Zahle are on show at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

“Yahweh and the Seraphim” was conceived as the reredos of an overarching body of work “The Oratory of Heavenly Space”, exploring belief and described by Pope as ” a non-denomonational chapel; a place of contemplation without doctrine”. This work is located as the backdrop to the regular rhythm of prayer and worship in the Minster. It invites us to brush up against a sanctity which doesn’t take itself too seriously, but welcomes the unconventional, provoking and potentially discordant into its centre.

The Minster is open Monday to Friday 9am -3pm, Saturday 10am – 3pm and there is no charge for admission.

Ashes to Go Wednesday 10 February

On Ash Wednesday 10 February Sunderland Minster and St Mary’s will be offering “Ashes to Go” a new approach to a centuries old Christian tradition. This will take place around Sunderland City Centre beginning with a 10 am service in the Minster and ending with a midday service at St Mary’s, Bridge Street. We will be joined by the Bishop of Durham the Right Reverend Paul Butler and the Catholic Bishop of Newcastle and Hexham The Right Reverend Bishop Seamus Cunningham.

This is part of an international movement that has clergy and lay people visiting bus stops, street corners, coffee shops, and train stations to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by with ashes and invite them to turn away from past wrongdoing, seeking forgiveness and renewal.

In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the face at the beginning of that season with an invitation to receive God’s forgiveness. Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition for people who have lost their connection to a church, or have never participated before.

Advent Sleepout challenge December 4th

Advent Sleepout challenge December 4th

Take on the the Advent Sleepout Challenge to help end homelessness and poverty in the North East.

One night can change everything. Could you give up one night of comfort so that someone else won’t have to?

Advent Sleepout Challenge, an exciting new event, launches this year with two charities that provide essential and life-changing support to homeless people across the North East: Church Urban Fund and Depaul UK. Both charities are committed to fighting homelessness and other forms of poverty across the UK.

On Friday 4th December 2015, Church Urban Fund and Depaul UK are inviting Christian communities across the North East of England to join them in giving up a night of comfort in a unique response to advent.

People are being asked to come together to share the experience of sleeping out to raise money for Depaul’s North East ‘Nightstop’ emergency accommodation service and Church Urban Fund’s Together Network working locally.

Sleepouts will be taking place at Sunderland Minster, St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle and the Holy Trinity Church Centre, Middlesbrough.

Today there are still hundreds of vulnerable people in the North East who find themselves homeless and marginalised often through no fault of their own. You can help us to support those who may be struggling with debt, homelessness, isolation, addiction, abuse or violence.

It is estimated that on any one night 35 people sleep rough across the North East Region  and this figure does not take into account for the fact that approximately 62% of single homeless people are hidden and may not show up in official figures. As well as this, there are 8.8 million people that are struggling with problem debt.

The hope is that this will be a refreshing approach to advent that will allow people to reclaim what advent means to them whilst they take part in a different kind of giving this Christmas.

Advent Sleepout Challenge invites you to swap your bed for a sleeping bag and stone floor and experience what will be a unique and inspiring night.

For more information or to join a sponsored sleepout in your area please email:

All we are saying

Currently on show in the Minster are art works by a range of artists on the theme of peace.

All We are Saying is a programme developed by Sunderland Minster and local acclaimed artist Barrie West, based on the premise of Artists for Peace. The project is a non-partisan, non-religious, non-political creative statement for peace – whether that is cohesion, acceptance and understanding within local communities or peace at a global level.

The project is entirely not for profit and most artists are participating without payment; offering their time and expertise as in kind support to a programme they see as valuable to society and Sunderland.  A number of other cities around the UK (including Liverpool and Newcastle), Europe (cities in Germany and Netherlands) and the world (Japan) are also participating – with Sunderland acting as lead hub.

Alongside the development of the artists’ work, Sunderland residents will be able to take part in the project through the ‘postcards for peace’ initiative, and by making a dove or crane for the installation of ‘a thousand . . . ‘ which will be built up over the period of the exhibition.

Sunderland Summer Special

Summer special      Sunderland Summer Special – Children’s Holiday Club for children and their parents from 0 to 11 years old will run each Tuesday in August from 10 am to 1 pm.

Games, music, crafts, stories and food. The cost is £1 per family and to register please contact 0191 565 4066

Sunderland – a modern European city

A new exhibition starts in the Minster on 20th March showing photography highlighting the changing face of Sunderland over the last eight years – a quiet transformation with new public buildings, business centres, outdoor spaces and eco-friendly housing – commissioned and built by the City Council and its partners. Photographed over three months by Steve Mayes an architectural photographer based in the North East.

The exhibition is open Monday to Friday 9 am to 3pm and Saturday 10 am to 3pm and entry is free

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