The lights of a historic Sunderland church were officially switched on at a special ceremony in the city tonight.
New floodlights illuminating St. Peter's Church, Sunderland were officially turned on tonight by Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland Cllr Barry Curran and his wife Carol Curran.
This comes as Sunderland City Council continue to invest into the site which is has already seen a permanent outdoor ‘footprint’ of the original Wearmouth Monastery complete with a new main gateway.
Other, recently completed works include new seating, footpaths and parking areas for visitors.
St Peter’s was the starting point of the Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth- Jarrow, built in 674AD by local nobleman Benedict Biscop and is considered one of the key factors in the development of early Christianity.
To complete the project there will also be the new lighting, improved signage and links to the riverside, planting of semi-mature trees and shrubs, and the creation of wildflower areas.
Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, councillor John Kelly, said: “St Peter’s Church is an important part of the history of
Sunderland. It’s over 1300 years old and now stands as a testament to our heritage and our culture. I encourage everyone to visit the church, enjoy its fantastic setting and take a little
time to discover more about its history. It is a very special site, a key attraction in our city that we should be proud of and a jewel in our crown as we work to become the UK City of Culture in 2021 “
At a small ceremony Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran presented a commemorative plaque to The Reverend Dick Bradshaw, Rector of St Peter’s.
Cllr Curran said:”It is fitting that this event is held on January 12 as it’s the feast of Benedict Biscop. Benedict is not only our city’s patron saint but a hugely influential figure as guardian and mentor to the Venerable Bede. Bede is arguably one of the most important individuals in this region’s history. His observations, writings and teachings truly were a ray of light in the ‘dark ages’.”
Sunderland City Council has funded the £1million project. Following public consultation and discussions with the Durham Diocese. the development was given the green light and works started at the end of 2014.
The design of the lights have been carefully positioned to capture the architectural detail and beauty of St Peter’s, The majority of the surrounding lights are energy efficient LED units with the tower up-lighters being halogen.