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Archbishop Visits Venerable Bede C of E Academy

Venerable Bede C of E Academy - Keith Blundy

Friday 3rd March 2017

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, visited The Venerable Bede Church of England Academy today Friday 3rd March as part of ‘Talking Jesus’ a four day mission to the Diocese of Durham.

The Archbishop met with students and teachers at the Tunstall Bank, Sunderland Academy, part of the Dayspring Multi Academy Trust along with Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy in Stockton.  During the visit, the Archbishop was shown a number of prayer stations, set up and run by students, which were designed to focus on exploring personal well being, taking time to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings, and as a place to explore prayer.

The Archbishop was visiting the Academy as part of a weekend of events called “Talking Jesus” which is taking place across the Diocese of Durham from 2 to 5 March 2017.  Churches all over the Diocese are holding events during the weekend which are being supported and attended by Bishops from across the North of England.  The events are taking place in a variety of locations with the central theme of talking about Jesus and engaging with the wider community.

Gill Booth, Executive Headteacher for the Dayspring Trust, said: “As a school community, we wanted to explore how our students can access prayer in an interactive way and also to see how prayer spaces can impact positively on well-being.  We were delighted to welcome the Archbishop to meet with our young people and to be able to talk about the impact of our Prayer Space project with a wider community audience.  The outcomes have been incredible with many young people saying that they feel more confident in themselves as a result.”

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said, “It has been wonderful to spend time with students from Venerable Bede Church of England Academy and to find out more of how they have used the Prayer Spaces they have created to engage in a fresh way in talking and listening to God.  There is no better thing we can do than to find a space to spend time with God, and I encourage all to do so.”


For more information about the Talking Jesus weekend or the Diocese of Durham or Dayspring Multi Academy Trust ,  please contact Keith Blundy,, 07900 583131,




If you want to catch up with the Archbishop over the Mission weekend, on Thursday 2 March he will be at the Commissioning Service at Durham Cathedral at 2pm then in the Market Square from 3pm.

Friday sees the Archbishop visiting Hartlepool College of Further Education at 10.30am; St Matthew’s Church, Silksworth at 1pm; The Venerable Bede Academy in Sunderland from around 1.30pm, then at the Ceilidh at the Westwood Social Club in Washington from 7pm. 

Saturday begins at St James and St Bede’s Church in Gateshead at 9.30am with a Community Breakfast.  The Archbishop will then move on to the Metro Centre around lunch time, Sunderland city centre and the Bridges Shopping Centre from 2-4pm.  The Mustard Tree at Hurworth Methodist Church is hosting a café style service for young people from 7pm which will also be the launch of a new Lent Course.

The Archbishop will be at St Thomas’ Church in Stanhope at 10am on Sunday morning, then will round up the Mission at the Cathedral at 3pm when everyone is invited to attend the Celebration Service.




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