A contoversial View. as can be seen, a good view of the minster is obtained despite the presence of the new hotel - it is the trees that really obscure most of the building!  CLICK TO ENLARGE.
 From Church Lane. CLICK TO ENLARGE.



An autumnal view - parts of the church begin to appear as the trees shed their foliage CLICK TO ENLARGE.
Model of Minster (from the North)  constructed by F Gooch CLICK TO ENLARGE
Model of Minster (from the South)  constructed by F Gooch.  CLICK TO ENLARGE



















“A Church in the City. A City in the Church”

Purpose and Aims of Sunderland Minster

Sunderland Minster exists for five main reasons:

1 A Spiritual Heartbeat for the City
The Minster holds the City of Sunderland, its people and its common life in prayer. From the Minster, the daily life of prayer and worship flows out through a wider Minster Community that is engaged in the life of the city.
The Minster serves as a citywide focal point for public celebration, mourning and spiritual identity. The Minster is a place for people to connect with God in the heart of the city.

2 A Place for Meeting, Learning and Belonging
The Minster is a hospitable place in the centre of the city where people meet together and share together a vision for the life of the city and its people. It is a place of belonging for the homeless and the troubled. A place to eat and to be refreshed. A place to be nurtured, affirmed, stimulated, and encouraged in the Christian journey. A venue for the arts, cultural events and exchange. The Minster is a place where people meet who would not normally meet together.

3 Nurturing a Spiritual City
The Minster enhances the spiritual life of the city. It aims to nurture and encourage the building of ‘spiritual capital’ in the city. This is central to the work of economic regeneration and renewal of hopeful and skilled communities. The Minster enables the city to express it’s identity and connect with the past as well as be bold about its vision for the future. At times the Minster is a prophetic voice on issues of injustice and speaks on issues that need to be challenged.

4 A Place of Radical Service
The Minster is a stimulus to and a force for loving service in the city. It is able to do things that others find difficult. It can push out the boundaries and be risky. It can focus on wider needs. It has a particular calling to those who work and play in the city centre day and night. Fostering partnership is the Minster’s usual way as well as actively encouraging and supporting the voluntary sector. The Minster is a place that listens to the needs of the city and its diverse communities and struggles.

5 Serving the wider Church in the City
The Minster is a focal point for unity and common response amongst the Christian Churches in the city. It promotes ecumenical working and is a focal point for a number of sector chaplaincies in the city. The Minster is a catalyst to collective Christian action and seeks to serve and where appropriate be a helpful resource to the wider church.


            7th September 2011    Letter to Regular visitors to the Minster

 Minster Bells

Many of you will be wondering if we will ever see the restoration of the Minster Clock or appreciate a Ten Bell' peal ringing out across the city on a Sunday morning?!  After recruiting someone with project management experience to the staff team earlier in the year, Chris Mitchell, our new assistant administrator, visited the Bell Engineers in July.  Due to several empty promises over the years, and a recent heart attack which looks to delay plans further, I have asked the Archdeacon of Sunderland and Minster Council to help find a quick and achievable solution to the delays and frustrations. Please pray for wisdom as potential negotiations follow with Architects, Contractors and Solicitors...

Minster Shop

Following a Congregation Committee 'Thinking Day' in January 2010, and the building on the advice of Urban Minsters and Greater Churches around the country, we began the process of upgrading and redeveloping our Minster Shop in Easter this year.  Whilst continuing to stock Fair Trade items, and promoting the work of Fair Trade in the city, the new shop will also sell a wider range of items to help generate a much needed source of income. The success of the shop will depend upon the good will and commitment of volunteers, and become an increasingly important part of our visitor welcome. Volunteer application forms are available in the  Minster office if you or others you know might be interested in helping on the rota. Please advertise the shop to friends and family, and let us know your thoughts and suggestions as we venture into the world of retail.

 Back to Church Sunday

Regular worshippers in Churches across Durham Diocese are being encouraged once again to prayerfully invite friends and family 'Back to Church' on Sunday 25th September. Our 10.O0am service that day will be followed by a Faith lunch, to which all are invited. Bishop Mark, the Bishop of Jarrow, suggests; "Our focus is the personal invitation of one church member to one friend. Back to Church Sunday raises a high media profile as tens of thousands of Christians offer this invitation at the same time. Some churches put on special events and others chose to continue with their regular services.

Either way, the most important part of the day is to offer a warm welcome to people." (Enclosed with this letter was a personal invitation card for you to give to someone you think might come to Church with you that day, with a prayer card for you to tear off and keep at home). Why not invite someone you know, perhaps a friend or acquaintance who might consider coming along.

Harvest Festival, and Harvest Supper & Auction

The Anglican worldwide missionary charity USPG will benefit from the generous support of donations and fundraising taking place for Harvest at the Minster this year. After a traditional Harvest celebration with offertory of produce at l0.00am Sunday 2nd October, we are holding a 'Come Dine with Me, Harvest Supper and Quiz the following day, 7.00pm Monday 3rd October in the Minster restaurant. The Auction of produce that night will help USPG in their work, whose projects help relieve people in severe situations of poverty, with a focus on development and guidance for people to learn to support themselves in various places around the world.

 Alpha Course

Youth Alpha will provide a new opportunity to bring young people together from the beginning of October, to help deepen their understanding of the Christian faith and grow closer to God. This course will take place on Sunday evenings and is aimed at those aged 14 and above. Alice Venning, our Lay Chaplain would be happy to chat further with anyone you know who might wish to consider taking part. Please pray for this course, and for our growing ministry with children and families that brings new life to the Minster church.

 Minster Council

A small working party has begun meeting under the chairmanship of Archdeacon Stuart Bain to assist with the appointments process of a new canon Provost, and it is intended that interviews will take place by the end of October, in consultation with the Dean of Durham and the Bishop's Staff. Please do pray for wisdom and discernment, and for the process of appointing a new Coordinating Chaplain at the University of Sunderland once the Provost appointment is made.

 Finance & Stewardship

Alistair Jenkins, the Diocesan Stewardship Adviser reminded us in March 2011 that our personal giving week by week plays a significant role in paying for our continued ministry and mission. The Minster currently manages to meet Diocesan expectations of annual quota payments or 'parish share', and this is highly thought of as the Diocesan Secretary and Board of Finance regularly scratch their heads and wonder how to make ends meet. Sandra Thurlbeck, known to many of you as our former Administrator, has recently taken up the role of Covenant Secretary at the Minster, and is happy to chat confidentially to anyone about their annual giving, not least concerning Gift Aid and how extra money can be claimed back for the church. She can be contacted anytime via the office.

 I assure you of the ongoing commitment of Revd. Stephen Hazlett and myself in this time of transition at the Minster, as well as the dedication of our very able Staff team and Wardens. With my sincere good wishes and prayers as we approach the Festival of St. Michael and All Angels in a few weeks time, and give thanks to God for his faithful love & gracious favour to us all.


ln  Christ,

 Revd Martin Anderson



St Michael & All Angels & St Benedict Biscop


What’s on- AUTUMN 2011 

1. Heritage Open Days: 8th-11th September 10.00am - 3.00pm

Discover more about the history of the Minster Church by using our local visitor information, or meet with a volunteer gurde to discover even more. Support the work of the Northumbria Historic Churches Trust at a Coffee Morning taking place at the home of Gillian & Fred Walker on Sat.10th from  10.00am(contact 565 4066 for info.)      -      (Date now passed)

2. Minster Minstrels Toddler Group: Every Tuesday 10.00am-11.30am

Toys, crafts, and letting off steam with the under 4's in the Minster, with plenty of Tea, Coffee and biscuits for the Mums and Dads... Come and Join us!

3. Choral Evensong with the Prayer Book Society: Sunday 16th October 6.00pm

Delight in the mystery of God's love and enjoy traditional prayers, psalms and anthems from the Book of Common Prayer, sung by Sunderland Minster Choir.

4. Minster Craft Fayre: Saturday 24th September 10.00am-3.00pm

A gathering of around twenty stalls ranging from embroidery to photography, paintings & hand-made wood and pottery. Visit the new Minster Shop and enjoy refreshments in the Minster Cafe.

5. ‘Back to Church' Sunday & Faith Lunch: Sunday 25th September 10.00am

An opportunity for to welcome new and old friends and neighbours to our regular l0.00am Sunday service, and to meet afterwards to eat together and enjoy each other's company!

6. Patronal Eucharist: St. Michael and All Angels: Thursday 29th September 7.30pm

Do Angels really exist? Is St. Michael an important saint? Celebrate the ministry and witness of the Minster in the life of the City. Join us after communion for a glass of wine and a bag of crisps!  NB  Less than a dozen folk (far fewer than the members of the choir who attended) came to this celebration - a sad comment on today's values!!.

7. Minster Workshop 'Reading the Bible' in Church: Saturday 1st. October 10.00 - 11.30am

Local Hospice Chaplain Revd. Caroline Worsfold will bring her expertise as a former stage/drama professional to lead a fun & informative workshop on voice projection & audible reading techniques.

8. 'Family@4' lst Sunday of the month from 3.30-5.00pm

These 'family-friendly' services takes place at Sunderland Minster on Sunday afternoons to fit in with the schedules and work commitments of busy families. The child-friendly services with songs, crafts and short talks begin at 3.30pm on 2nd October, and continue on 6th November and 4th December, with a Candlelit Christingle service at 5.00pm on Christmas Eve.

9.  Harvest Festival: Sun 2nd October 10.00am and 'Come Dine with Me' Harvest Supper with Auction of Produce: Monday 3rd October 7.00pm

A family friendly Harvest Communion service followed by refreshments with a Harvest Auction on the following night to raise funds and support the great work of Anglican mission charity USPG.

10. Youth Alpha: October-December 2011

An invitation for Young People aged over 14 to meet weekly to discover more about the Christian faith, share food together, and grow in confidence in their commitment to Jesus. For more information, contact Alice Venning -Lay Chaplain. Tel. 5654066.

11. Christian Aid Bede's Way Walk: Sat 8th October

Join members of the Minster Congregation and Youth Group for this 12 mile sponsored walk between St. Peter's, Monkwearmouth and St. Paul's, Jarrow or support their efforts with your generous donations...

12. World Mental Health Day Service and Marketplace: Sunday 9th October 10.00-12.30pm

Revd. Dr Simon Mason, Mental Health Chaplain in Sunderland and South Shields will be our guest preacher at the l0.00am service, to include representatives of local organisations working in this field. Find out more about their support for people in the City with info & refreshments after the service. 

13. All Saints & All Souls Memorial Service: Tuesday 1st November 7.30pm

A  Service of Prayer and Thanksgiving with representatives of the University of Sunderland. An opportunity to-give thanks, and celebrate the memory of loved ones who have died in recent years, with popular hymns and readings.

 14. East Durham Artists Network Exhibition (open daily)

Local artists display projects and specific works to reflect the Minster's engagement and ministry with the city of Sunderland. Visual arts: paint, sculpture, print, textile, glass, installation art & photography. Exhibition from Tues 4ft October - Monday 31st October. See website for details

 15. Minster Autumn Fayre: Saturday 19th November 10.00am-2.00pm

Home-made Jams, Cakes, Grand-Prize draw, Tombola, Jewellery & accessories, Face-painting, Bottle stall, Childrens toys, Minster Shop, Christmas stall, Cards & gifts, mince pies and mulled wine. 

For more lnformatlon/detalls contact: Sunderland Minster, High Street West, Sunderland SRI 3ET

Tel: 01 9 1 5654066 Mob: 07983 71 0559      Email:






Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)   8.00am

Sung Eucharist (Common Worship)          10.00am


IT IS STRESSED THAT  the 8am Sunday 'Eucharist' (advertised as such) is actually Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer - so please join us!


CHORAL EVENSONG - according to the Book of Common Prayer - is sung with chanted Preces & Responses, and mostly, the Canticles are sung to settings by composers such as Sumsion, Stainer, Moeran, Walmisley. This is held at 6.00pm on the 3rd Sunday in the month only. The next Choral Evensong at the Minster is on Sunday 18th September, at 6pm, when we will welcome the Prayer Book Society. Please support this long-sought event.


Why not come and experience the splendour of our traditional Anglican services!



Future 'Extra' Choral Services:-


Thurs 29th September Patronal Festival (Michaelmas) Eucharist 7:30pm

Tues   1st November All Souls Day (!?)  Sung Eucharist  7:30pm

Sunday   20th November Deanery Celebration Service  4.00pm

Sunday 27th November    Advent Carol Service   6.00pm



    Further Choral Evensong services in the area:-


Sept 11th   St Nicholas Church, Sunderland at 6pm. Dedication Festival Evensong


September 25th  St Aidan's, Grangetown, Sunderland  at 6 pm  Deanery Evensong