Sunderland nun to be honoured with new song celebrating the work of ‘petite but dynamic lady’ and ‘powerful force’ for the city

An Irish nun who made Sunderland her home is to be honoured with a new song celebrating her achievements.
Sister Scholastica greeting Sam Jordan at the Hendon Mission.Sister Scholastica greeting Sam Jordan at the Hendon Mission.
Sister Scholastica greeting Sam Jordan at the Hendon Mission.

Sister Scholastica was born in County Galway in Ireland but came to Sunderland to join the Sisters of Mercy, who are well known in the city.

Those who know her she has worked tirelessly across the city and the region supporting and raising funding for local communities,

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Now Sunderland Male Voice Choir is producing a new song honouring her achievements working in our local community

The Choir at ‘An Easter Concert’ at St. Chad’s C of E Church on on April 1, 2023.The Choir at ‘An Easter Concert’ at St. Chad’s C of E Church on on April 1, 2023.
The Choir at ‘An Easter Concert’ at St. Chad’s C of E Church on on April 1, 2023.

Kevin Lillie, choir secretary, said Sister Scholastica was a ‘petite but dynamic lady’ and ‘a powerful force’ who deserves the recognition as an official Ambassador of the City of Sunderland.

Kevin said one of her greatest achievements, which now has worldwide recognition, is the creation and retention of the Seafarers’ Mission at the Port of Sunderland.

"She has single-handedly maintained the Mission in Hendon and provided support to sailors, visiting the Port, from around the world,” he said.

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"Many of the woolly hats being knitted by local community members are still proudly being worn by seafarers from countries, such as The Philippines and Ukraine.”

Kevin said it was her work in Hendon which brought her into contact with the choir.

“We first got to know Sister Scholastica when the choir was looking to expand our community outreach in Hendon,” he said.

"She is a truly infectious and remarkable lady. We were delighted when she agreed to allow us to produce a new song about her life and her achievements with the local community.”

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The new song, ‘Sunderland’s Angel of Mercy’ is being written for the choir by deputy musical director and tenor, Sam Jordan.

Sam also composed a recent song for the choir about another North East legend.

‘We’re Going on A Randy!’ was written about George Stephenson and the Hetton Colliery Railway and was launched last November to coincide with the Bicentenary of the Railway.

Thanks to some generous donations from the community, the choir will be continuing their song writing about local heritage and people.

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Plans are already in hand to produce a series of songs about the important role that Hendon played in the history of Sunderland, as well as a further song about George Stephenson and his work with the Bowes Railway.

The choir is already in discussion with the management at Seventeen Nineteen about holding a charity concert to showcase this new music when it is completed and raise funding for local communities.

On Saturday, Sister Scholastica and the Choir will be holding a private ‘Gathering of Dedication’ to formally launch these initiatives, attended by the Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Alison Smith, who is a patron of the choir.

Councillor Smith said: ‘We are privileged that Sister Scholastica is an Ambassador for the City of Sunderland.’

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“I am also delighted that Sunderland Male Voice Choir will recognize her achievements by composing this new song. Their efforts to promote the heritage and people of our proud City through music are to be commended.’

To learn more about this great community choir, who ‘Rejoice in Singing’, visit the choir’s Facebook page or website,

Sunderland Male Voice Choir is always looking to recruit new members. Members rehearse on Friday evenings between 7pm and 9pm at St. Chad’s Community Hall, East Herrington, Sunderland.