New Canon Provost for Sunderland Minster

Sunderland Minster is about to become the only Minster with a Canon Provost following the appointment of Canon Sheila Bamber.

The move is something of a homecoming for Canon Bamber, who is returning to the Diocese of Durham after two years at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle.

Canon Bamber started her working life in social housing before embarking on a new path in life as a clergywoman in the Durham area.

She later became the Diocese of Durham's Director of Education and a Canon of Durham Cathedral.

Canon Bamber's time as Director of Education saw her work extensively in and around Sunderland with the Venerable Bede Church of England Aided Secondary School in Tunstall Bank and the Benedict Biscop Church of England Primary Academy in Moorside.

The educational theme continued at Newcastle Cathedral, where she oversaw educational programmes and a restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery to bring the cathedral's monuments back to public display.

In her new role, she will oversee all of Sunderland Minster’s activities.

“It is really good to be returning to the diocese and to be going to work in Sunderland," she said.

"The minster was created at the same time as Sunderland became a city so it is very much involved in that development of the area. It is really exciting to be part of that.

“I have always been absolutely passionate about the role the Church can play in the community and using our platform of faith to help people have the best possible life chances. I am looking forward to playing a part in the life of Sunderland and acting as an advocate for the people of the city.

“We have great things going on in Sunderland and it needs to have a regional presence. We have already had talks between Newcastle Cathedral and Sunderland Minster to see how we can work together for the benefit of the wider Tyne and Wear area.”

The Rt Rev Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham said: “I am delighted to appoint Sheila to this important role, she brings a wealth of experience that will be a real asset to the job. In the interview process, Sheila’s passion for innovative ways to creating community cohesion, with strong business and spiritual leadership was most impressive. I am sure that she will be a real asset to Sunderland and the diocese.”

Canon Bamber takes up the post in September.

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