Sunderland Guide: Holy Trinity Church

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Location: Enter Church Street East from High Street East in Sunderland City Centre

The Holy Trinity Church marks the heart of where Sunderland’s modern journey as a town began. Built in 1719, the Church came with the creation of Sunderland as a separate parish from Bishopwearmouth as it boomed from an obscure village into an industrial and shipbuilding port.

Fashioned in a baroque design typical of that area, the church in turn positioned itself at the heart of community life for over two and a half centuries, until it closed to worship in the 1980s as the city’s centre of gravity and population moved away from the East End.

From 2020-2021, the church underwent a multimillion pound restoration which seen it gain the informal name of “The Canny Space” transforming it into a venue for community events and activities, headed by famous local musician Dave Stewart. Besides anything the church might be hosting, it makes a worthy visit for historical interest especially if one is pursuing a heritage walk around the East End area.

The refurbished interior of the church, late 2021

The church is accompanied by a former churchyard and parish cemetery. Although it appears at first glance to just be an empty field with two graves in it, one being that of Sunderland hero Jack Crawford, the cemetery remains the resting place of over 100,000 people.

Nearby amenities: Angels Place, the Boars Head Bistro, The Welcome Tavern, the Eastern Dragon Chinese Takeaway