St Peter’s calling for exhibitionists

Art curator Ian Potts is staging exhibitions of work by local artists at the Bakehouse in St Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth.
Art curator Ian Potts is staging exhibitions of work by local artists at the Bakehouse in St Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth.
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SUNDERLAND’S most historic site is hoping to give artists a platform for their work.

Bede’s Bakehouse, the cafe at St Peter’s Church, Monkwearmouth, is now hosting art exhibitions to showcase local talent.

Art manager Ian Potts is hoping to encourage more artists to submit work for exhibitions at the venue, which was once the church’s chapter house.

“The venue did have exhibitions on before, but sometimes they went on for years,” explained Ian. “Every six weeks we are changing the exhibition and giving the artist the choice to do something in the space, whether that be through a workshop, lecture or meet the artist day.”

The current exhibition is a series of regional sketches by Godfrey Irving, which follows a successful run by illustrator Pal Palmer.

Ian said: “Pal Palmer is 83 and had never exhibited his work, but we gave him the chance and at 83, he finally got his wish. We want to give this chance to other artists too.

“Even if they don’t have enough work for an exhibition, they could submit single pieces which we could combine with others.”

Building its arts links is another way in which the church is hoping to attract community members as it bids for World Heritage Site status.

The twin Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow – the other site being St Paul’s in Jarrow – was named as the UK’s nomination for World Heritage Site status in 2006.

If it impresses bosses at Unesco, it will be given World Heritage status and join the list of landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids.

Anyone interested in submitting work to exhibit in the gallery should submit, by e-mail, or hard copies, between six to 10 images of their work.

For details email: or tel. 07982892262.

Twitter: @sunechokaty

History of St Peter’s

St Peter’s Monkwearmouth, is one of the oldest churches in Britain where Christians have gathered for more than 1,300 years.

It was built in 674AD by Benedict Biscop, a pioneering monk who was given a grant of land by the Northumbrian King, Egfrith.

Benedict built an important complex of church and monastic buildings in the Roman style.

Glaziers from Gaul created the windows for Benedict’s church, establishing Monkwearmouth as the birthplace of British stained glass.

Though built as a monastery, St Peter’s is today a parish church.