Sunderland festival to celebrate the coming of the Lindisfarne Gospels

Calligrapher Susan Moor at work in St Peter's Church, Sunderland, with the Rev Tom Gibbons holding a calligraphy copy of the Codex Amiatinus
Calligrapher Susan Moor at work in St Peter's Church, Sunderland, with the Rev Tom Gibbons holding a calligraphy copy of the Codex Amiatinus
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WEARSIDERS are today urged to get involved in a festival celebrating the arrival of the Lindisfarne Gospels in the North East.

The Gospels will be displayed in Durham next year and a programme of activities will run alongside the exhibition.

Throughout July, August and September there will be music, workshops and conferences.

The gospels will be on display at Durham University’s Palace Green Library and scheduled events in Durham City will have a Lindisfarne theme, including Durham International Festival, Durham Streets Summer Festival and the Durham Book Festival.

The Gospels were produced in about 700AD by a monk called Eadfrith who became Bishop of Lindisfarne.

They were produced in honour of St Cuthbert and have been loaned to Durham University by the British Library in London.

Now the team behind the exhibition is urging more people to get involved.

Dr Keith Bartlett, programme director of Lindisfarne Gospels said: “For centuries the Lindisfarne Gospels has inspired amazement and awe and the opportunity to be part of the 2013 exhibition is certainly proving to be very compelling.

“Events and activities of all kinds are being put forward every day and we are inviting event organisers to get in touch and to let the team know about their plans.”

Reverend Tom Gibbons from St Peter’s Church is throwing his weight behind the festival and has a series of calligraphy events planned to coincide with the exhibition.

Reverend Gibbons said: “There was a lot of collaboration between Wearmouth-Jarrow and Lindisfarne. The Gospel of John that was found in Cuthbert’s tomb was probably from Wearmouth-Jarrow so there are a lot of links.”

Northumbrian scribe Susan Moor will be producing a gospel book in the style used in the Lindisfarne Gospels and there will be exhibitions at the church of calligraphy styles.

As well as the gospels on display in Durham, there will also be a selection of Anglo-Saxon artefacts from collections around the UK and some of Britain’s most significant medieval texts including the St Cuthbert Gospel and Durham Gospel.

A highlight of the exhibition will be a selection of St Cuthbert’s treasures, including his jewelled cross, sapphire ring and travelling altar, displayed alongside the book that was written in his honour.

Dr Bartlett added: “Lindisfarne Gospels Durham will be a fantastic opportunity to put the region in the spotlight and will be the highlight of the cultural calendar in 2013”.

Anyone interested in being part of the festivities can contact or call 03000 261232.

Twitter: @sunechohannah