Sunderland Minster Canon given unique post

(C) Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates

(C) Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates

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A CANON has been welcomed back to Wearside after being appointed to a special post.

The Reverend Canon Sheila Bamber was formally licensed as Canon Provost at Sunderland Minster in a service last night, making the minster the only one in the country to have such a position.

(C) Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates

(C) Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates

A feature of the service, led by the Right Reverend Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, was the way she was “handed over” by Newcastle.

Rev Bamber, who previously worked at St Nicholas Cathedral, was escorted by its head verger, Gordon Scott, and presented to the bishop for licensing by the Venerable Stuart Bain, Archdeacon of Sunderland and chairman of the minster council.

Choirs from both the cathedral and the Minster performed at the service.

The appointment marks a return to the Durham Diocese for Canon Bamber, who started her working life in social housing and began her career as a clergywoman in the Durham area.

She later became the diocese’s director of education, and a Canon of Durham Cathedral.

Rev Bamber has worked extensively in Sunderland, particularly with the Venerable Bede Church of England School in Tunstall Bank, and the Benedict Biscop Church of England Primary Academy in Moorside.

On Wednesday, she will complete her minster team with a similar service for new university chaplain the Reverend Chris Howson.

Canon Bamber said: “It is very exciting and I am looking forward to being able to roll up my sleeves and get on with the job. We need to get out there and meet people and see how best the Minster can make a contribution to the life of the city.”