Minster Office: 0191 565 4066


Sunderland Minster blog

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.

Remembrance concert Saturday 11th November 12pm

On Saturday 11th November there will be a concert of hymns, readings and music from the Royal Signals (Northern) Band in the Minster to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives fighting for the country.

All are welcome and entry is free.

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.

Harvest Thanksgiving

Minster Harvest FestivalOn Sunday 15th October the Minster will be celebrating Harvest at the 9.45 am service. All are welcome.

There will be a collection of food  – tins/ packets/ non-perishable items – for the local foodbank.

Celebration of Flowers

The Friends of Sunderland Minster is being relaunched and to celebrate the relaunch a group of very talented ladies from the Minster and local flower groups are holding a celebration of flowers from 16th September and throughout the following week.

On 15th September at 7.30pm there will be a preview evening reception with tickets available from the Minster office between 9am and 3pm each weekday. Tickets are £5 per person including refreshments.

The Summer Specials are back!

The Summer Specials are coming back!

This summer at Sunderland Minster we’ll be helping families* discover that they are made for love, courage, joy, adventure, and service, through the animal tales of the dove who showed Jesus he was loved, the hungry lions who failed to eat Daniel, the lost sheep who was found, ten thirsty camels watered by Rebekah, and the donkey who carried a servant king in the parade.

Tuesdays 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th August.

Family registration, 10am. Craft and other activities, storytelling, singing. Hot lunch served 12pm, end by 1pm.

*whatever family looks like for you this summer, you are welcome: our summer fun days are aimed at children aged 0-11, and their accompanying responsible adult/s.


The Bede chapel has been set aside for prayer for all those caught up in the Manchester bombing.

Please feel free to sit and pray, to light a candle, or write a prayer for the wall.

Mr Corvan’s Music Hall

Sunderland Minster is not only a  place of Christian worship on a daily basis it is also a place of meeting, learning and belonging.

Alongside monthly craft and vintage fairs, art exhibitions, and music of all kinds – a fantastic new musical play about the North East’s first music hall superstarMr Corvna’s Music Hall is being performed at Sunderland Minster on Friday 2nd June at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Ned Corvan (1827 – 1865) was a comedian, virtuoso violinist, artist and singer/songwriter of hits including The Cullercoats Fish Lass, Fishermen Hung the Monkey and the first popular protest song Toon Improvement Bill.

Written by Ed Waugh ( Hadaway Harry, Sunday for Sammy, Laffalang, co-writer Maggie’s End, Alf Ramsay Knew my Grandfather, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham) and directed by Gareth Tudor Price, it stars Chris Connel ( Pitman Painters, UK tour and Broadway), Jamie Brown ( Culture 2016 Performing Artist of the Year and Rachael McShane ( violinist for multi award-winning folk group Bellowhead.

Refreshments are available at both performances.

Tickets are £15 and are available from the Minster office or the box office 0191 4247788

Easter at the Minster

Holy Week and Easter is rapidly approaching. There will be services in the Minster each evening  – Monday 10th April to Thursday 13th April from 7pm to 8pm. Monday to Wednesday will be Stations of the Cross and on Thursday there will be Sung Eucharist and foot washing.

On Good Friday morning prayers will take place at 9am followed by the walk to Tunstall Hill  for a service at 10am. There will be An Hour at the Cross in the Minster from 2pm to 3pm.

Easter Day – 16th April – will start on Roker Beach at sunrise – gather at 5.40am for a short service. Sung Eucharist will be at 9.45am followed by FEAST at 11.15am and Evensong at 4.30pm


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.

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