St Peter’s Church, Monwearmouth, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
St Peter’s Church is the parish church of Monkwearmouth in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. It is one of three churches that make up the Parish of Monkwearmouth; the others being All Saints Church and St Andrew’s Church, Roker.
Home of the Venerable Bede in the 7th century AD, and part of the Anglo-Saxon Wearmouth-Jarrow monastery.
Many Northumbrian saints are connected with St. Peter’s Church along with the Venerable Bede, namely St. Hild, Abbess of Whitby, whom Bede describes as having entered convent life “on land to the north of the Wear”, and the abbots of the twin monastery: St. Benedict Biscop, the patron saint of Sunderland, St. Ceolfrid, St. Eosterwine, St. Hwaetbehrt and St. Sigfrid, and St. Lawrence, to whom a chapel was dedicated at St. Peter’s in the time of the abbots.
In what had been a promontory clifftop overlooking the north of the harbour and estuary of the River Wear, 60 hides of land were given by King Ecgfrith for Benedict Biscop to found the monastery of St. Peter in the name of the Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury in 673 AD. This was the beginning of a new project a movement to bring learning, culture and the Christian religion to the north of Saxon Britain.
This was the monastery on whose lands the Venerable Bede was born and it was here at Wearmouth that at the age of 7 he entered the schooling of the monastery. This was the time in the dark middle ages known as the Golden Age of Northumbria, when monastic communities spread from Ireland to Iona to Lindisfarne: from Rome via Canterbury to here.
The western wall and the porch and lower tower visible today date from the foundation and still stand as part of the St.Peter’s church where the Christians worship as in earliest times.