Day of celebrations to mark life of Patron Saint of Sunderland

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FAMILIES have gathered to celebrate Sunderland’s colourful Patron Saint.

Scores of people descended on Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens today to mark the life of Benedict Biscop.

The Anglo-Saxon abbot, who founded the monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, was made Patron Saint of the city in 2005.

He is famed for bringing the art of glass staining to Wearside during his lifetime (AD628 – AD690) and creating a centre for learning at St Peter’s Church in Sunderland and St Paul’s Church in Jarrow, producing scholars including the Venerable Bede.

Visitors took part in crafts to reflect the work of Benedict Biscop in the Pottery Gallery at the museum, such as producing illuminated letters, object investigation stalls, and trails.

Learning officer at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Jennie Lambert, said it was a chance for people to discover more about the city’s Anglo-Saxon heritage.

“A couple of people didn’t know he was Patron Saint but a lot of people did,” she said.

“A lot of children from Saint Benedict Biscop Academy knew because they have learnt about him.

“We can talk about what Anglo-Saxon life was like and how people lived.

“And this is how we celebrate the glass that he brought back to the monastery.

“It’s really nice to start the year with some family activities and spread the word about Benedict Biscop.”

The feast day of Saint Benedict Biscop is tomorrow, January 12, the date on which he died in AD690.

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull