Holy Trinity Church, Sunderland

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A brick church with stone dressings seen from the south.  The west tower has a clock and pinnacles, and along the south face of the body of the church are Georgian-style windows
Western (front) elevation

Holy Trinity is a church in Sunderland. It was opened in 1719 as the church for the newly created Parish of Sunderland.[1]

It is a listed building and is one of the oldest buildings in the East End of Sunderland.[1][2]

It is unknown who built the church, but what is known for sure is that Daniel Newcombe – who was appointed rector – and William Etty were involved in some of its design.[3][4] A plaque marking its Grade I listed building status credits Etty as the designer.[5] In its early years, the building was also home to the Select Vestrymen — in effect the town council[citation needed] — and the library[5] and the mechanical fire pump.[citation needed]

The church is now in use for worship again, See its website for times of services.[4] It is also used by Sunderland Old Township Heritage Society, the Donnison School, the Rector Gray Society and the communities of Hendon and Old Sunderland during "Heritage Days". In 2013 the ACCORD exhibition was held in the church, featuring painting, sculpture, photographs and video installations inspired by the church itself and the local area.[6]


  • 1712 — Local merchants campaign for a new church to be built.
  • 1719 — First recorded baptisms, of Primus Barwick and Mary Whiton, on July 25.
  • 1719 — Church consecrated on September 5.
  • 1735 — Near-circular apse with Venetian window added by Daniel Newcombe, as the church initially had no chancel.[7]
  • 1803 — Gallery added.Roof reconstructed by Thomas Wilson and windows re-glazed.
  • 1838 — Memorial erected to Revd Robert Gray, rector from 1819 to 1838.
  • 1856 — Clockface on tower added.[8]
  • 1842 — Gallery extension constructed, but later removed.
  • 1900 (circa) — Windows re-glazed for the second time.
  • 1936 — Organ built.
  • 1939-1945 — slight war damage.
  • 1980s — building in need of expensive repairs.
  • 1988 — cost of renovation and dwindling congregation cause the final service to be held on June 26, and church the closes a few days later.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b BBC Wear Online. "Holy Trinity Church - photo gallery (image 1)". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  2. ^ Wearside Online. "Holy Trinity Church". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  3. ^ "tomorrows-history.com - Church of the Holy Trinity". Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  4. ^ a b Sunderland Public Library Service. "Local Studies Centre Factsheet No. 3 - Old Sunderland Parish Church" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  5. ^ a b BBC Wear Online. "Holy Trinity Church - photo gallery (image 4)". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  6. ^ http://www.backonthemap.org/news/2013/01/accord-art-show-exhibits-heritage-and-community
  7. ^ Church Gazetteer. "Sunderland, Holy Trinity". Archived from the original on 2004-03-28. Retrieved 2004-04-07. 
  8. ^ BBC Wear Online. "Holy Trinity Church - photo gallery (image 3)". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 

Coordinates: 54°54′28″N 1°22′08″W / 54.907714°N 1.369006°W / 54.907714; -1.369006