Tourism boost: £1million to make historic Sunderland church more visitor-friendly

Sunderland City Council Cllr John Kelly with Rev Dick Bradshaw at the start of groundworks to improve the surroundings of St Peters Church at Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.
Sunderland City Council Cllr John Kelly with Rev Dick Bradshaw at the start of groundworks to improve the surroundings of St Peters Church at Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.
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COUNCIL bosses are digging in after approval was given for a £1million revamp of a historic church.

Following public consultation and discussions with the Durham Diocese, the project at St Peter’s Church at Monkwearmouth, was given the go ahead and work has already started.

St Peter’s Church was part 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. The improvements will make the site a more user-friendly and attractive space for visitors.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “St Peter’s Church is a very special site, with some of the original 7th century fabric of the building still standing. This is where Bede, one of the greatest ever scholars, lived and learnt, and it’s vital that we look after it. The improvements to the landscape will make the site more accessible, more attractive and more informative for visitors.”

Sunderland City Council has funded the work, which is due for completion in spring 2015.

Reverend Dick Bradshaw from St Peter’s Church said: “These improvements will help tell the story of the site in new ways.”