Sunderland Minster provides a ‘ministry’ for a wide range of ecumenical, educational, cultural and leisure activities.
While it functions as a place of worship it has also held many very popular events including concerts by the Futureheads, the Unthanks and the Lilliputs. Weekend long festivals of music and art have also taken place and it has been home to a number of exhibitions including contemporary art and photography.
In 2015 the Minster hosted the prestigious Journal Culture Awards 2014.
The Minster is also a significant part of Sunderland’s heritage, some suggesting it dates as far back as 940AD. The Minster however was rebuilt in the 20th century and following the grant of city status to Sunderland in 1992 the church was re-designated as ‘Sunderland Minster’ in 1998.
The Minster provides a meeting place for people from all over the city, it has a rather excellent café, as well as a centre of worship on a daily basis.
The church has had a number of names in its history. It was known as ‘St Michael and All Angels Bishopwearmouth’ or ‘Bishopwearmouth Parish Church’ but became ‘Sunderland Minster’ in 1998. It was rededicated as the ‘Minster Church of St Michael & All Angels and St Benedict Biscop’ in May 2007 to commemorate its new status as an extra parochial place of worship, but whatever its official title is it is known locally as the Minster.
The Minster is close to the city centre with the Sunderland Empire, hotels, shops, bars and restaurants within easy walking distance. The closest Metro stations are either Sunderland with a walk along High Street West and Keel Square (whose street furniture/art work celebrates Sunderland’s shipping history) or Park Lane with a walk along Green Terrace and its many pubs and restaurants.