Lost Churches of Sunderland: The Venerable Bede Church, Monkwearmouth

Between Newcastle Road and Monk Street in Monkwearmouth, opposite the Wheatsheaf Pub, sits a Kwik Fit car servicing garage. Long before this appeared, the site was once home to a church, which was known as The Venerable Bede church.

Built around the year 1868, the Venerable Bede church was a Church of England parish church which covered the area of Monkwearmouth. Although traditionally, such a purpose was served by St. Peter’s Church, closer to the riverside, the explosion in population throughout the 18th and 19th centuries had transformed Monkwearmouth from a small village into part of a booming town under the name of “Sunderland”.

With it being a time where almost everyone adhered to religious worship of sorts, or least professed to do so, the 19th century thus led many churches to appear around the city. The Venerable Bede on Monk Street was but one, and became a destination for many christenings, funerals and marriages over the course of the next century.

However, while we tend to appreciate old church buildings nowadays, even if we are not religious, it is a sad truth that not every church survived until the present day, especially given the upheavals brought about by the Second World War, and the significant reconstruction which followed.

As a result, the Venerable Bede church was closed and demolished in 1961, and the area was subsequently rebuilt as an industrial and later retail estate.