The Dean of Durham and Durham Cathedral are backing Sunderland to become the UK City of Culture 2021.
Sunderland first announced its intentions in becoming the UK City of Culture in September 2015 and it has since secured support throughout the region. The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, the Dean of Durham, has added his support as a local leader to the bid.
Durham Cathedral continues to cultivate its links with Sunderland through the legacy of the Venerable Bede. Bede was born in Sunderland in the 7th century and his tomb is housed in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral. After joining the monastery at Jarrow, Bede became an acclaimed scholar and his works are still studied today.
Due to Bede’s influence and reputation this corner of England became a beacon of learning and culture and was known throughout the Christian west. Sunderland hopes to maintain the saint’s legacy first started over a thousand years ago by being named the City of Culture 2021.
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett said: ‘Sunderland is a remarkable city and is working hard to prove that it is worthy of the title, City of Culture 2021. There would be a really positive impact on the whole region if a city in the north east was acknowledged in this way for its culture and vibrancy. Durham Cathedral is honoured to be the final resting place of the Venerable Bede and partly because of this we have always had close ties with Sunderland. Durham Cathedral is proud to support Sunderland’s bid for the City of Culture 2021’
The Venerable Bede’s monastery at Jarrow was founded by St Benedict Biscop. Last month on St Benedict’s feast day the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett addressed the congregation at St Peter’s in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland. St Benedict originally founded this church as a monastery and was responsible for creation of libraries in his twinned monasteries as well as tutoring the Venerable Bede during his training.
In his address the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett emphasised St Benedict’s connections to the continent and his frequent pilgrimages to Rome. This saint exerted his influence not only over the culture of the north east of England but across Europe. Sunderland’s bid team are hoping to emulate his success.
Durham Cathedral celebrates Sunderland’s cultural heritage through its connections to these saints and supports Sunderland’s bid for City of Culture 2021. The deadline for applications is in April and soon after Sunderland will find out whether it has made it through the first round of the competition.