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 no longer used for regular worship. This grade 1 listed building is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust,[6] and is being restored with support from The Heritage Lottery Fund and other funders.[7]


  • 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.[8]
  • 1803 — Gallery added, roof reconstructed by Thomas Wilson and windows re-glazed
  • 1838 — Memorial erected to Reverend Robert Gray, rector from 1819 to 1838.
  • 1856 — Clockface on tower added.[9]
  • 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 then 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. ^ Sunderland Public Library Service. "Local Studies Centre Factsheet No. 3 - Old Sunderland Parish Church" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) 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. ^ Holy Trinity Church, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, Churches Conservation Trust, retrieved 18 October 2016 
  7. ^ https://www.sunderlandecho.com/our-region/sunderland/sunderland-s-holy-trinity-church-saved-from-collapse-by-2-8million-national-lottery-grant-1-9084543
  8. ^ Church Gazetteer. "Sunderland, Holy Trinity". Archived from the original on 2004-03-28. Retrieved 2004-04-07. 
  9. ^ BBC Wear Online. "Holy Trinity Church - photo gallery (image 3)". Retrieved 7 April 2007. 

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