City schools are creating new chapters to one of history’s most influential books produced in Sunderland 13 centuries ago.
The Codex Amiatinus – three Latin bibles – were transcribed and illuminated at Wearmouth-Jarrow monastery and left St Peter’s Church for Rome in AD 716, as a gift from Abbot Ceolfrith to Pope Gregory II.
As part of the Codex 1300 commemoration of that literary pilgrimage to Rome, a leather bound copy of the “Children’s Codex” will leave St Peter’s Church in June to be presented to Pope Francis in the Vatican.
The Children’s Codex will first visit Westminster Abbey to be signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, before continuing its journey to Rome.
The Codex 1300 anniversary commemorative project is being co-ordinated by Speak (St Peter’s Educational Activities for Kids) in conjunction with Sunderland City Council, the Parish of Jarrow and South Tyneside Council.
All 118 schools in Sunderland and 20 schools in Jarrow have been invited to be involved in this prestigious and historical event, writing and designing pages.
Sunderland Coun John Kelly, said: “Certain religious historians would argue that the Codex Amiatinus is equally, if not more, significant than the Lindisfarne Gospels, so it was important for us all to work together to create and fund this commemorative project.
“I’d like to thank all our partners for making this possible, and our young people for sharing their creative skills with us to help produce a replica Codex, which will reside in the Vatican for future generations of Christian pilgrims to Rome to enjoy.”