The Setting of St. Peter's

church doorway

“Beauty in all things”

Wearmouth-Jarrow was a religious community, but its faith was expressed as much in art as in prayer. From the stones of its churches to the pages of its manuscripts, it created beauty in everything it did. Benedict Biscop brought masons and craftsmen over from the continent to help with the construction of the monastery here. For example, the architectural style of the tower at St.Peter’s is similar to those found in Italy.

Calligraphy (meaning ‘beautiful writing’) was used by the monks in their preparation of the manuscripts in the scriptoria at Wearmouth and Jarrow and here many of the bound leather Gospels of the Saxon times were produced. The unical script written in two columns on each page of the Codex Amiatinus, the earliest surviving complete Latin text of the Bible, is as beautiful to behold as, if not more than, the illustrated pages from the same book.

In modern times, the University of Sunderland with its department of Art, Design & Media and the National Glass Centre, share the buffer zone around the candidate world heritage site. The church of St.Peter works in close association with its neighbours in the Wearmouth-Jarrow partnership, sharing the University of Sunderland’s hosting of its biennial calligraphy symposium, and there are plans to create a digital scriptorium within the church site. The Bede’s Bakehouse also has an art gallery manager and exhibitions run concurrently through the year.

In 2013 (July to September) when the North East region will be hosting the visit to Durham of the Lindisfarne Gospels, local calligrapher and president of Northumbiran Scribes, Susan Moor, will be artist-in-residence making a bound Gospel book with methods used in the time of Bede.

See our current exhibitor’details on the events page link.

Contact us to book a group visit or, if you are an artist and potential exhibitor, to contact our art gallery manager: <insert email address here>

Please click here to download the document ‘The Setting’