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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 March, 2004, 08:18 GMT
Plans for patron saint for city
The saint is credited with the start of the city's glass making industry
Sunderland could get its own patron saint day under plans to be discussed next week.

A proposal will go before Sunderland City Council's cabinet on Wednesday to mark the event with an annual civic service and celebration.

Sunderland's patron St Benedict Biscop, credited with starting the city's glass-making industry, was chosen by city residents.

The council will be asked to formally adopt him as the city's patron saint.

The cabinet will also be asked to explore options for the council to stage similar events to celebrate other faiths.

The idea to celebrate the life of the 7th Century monk St Benedict Biscop, also known as St Benet Biscop, was revived with a service in Sunderland Minster on 11 January.

City-wide poll

Minster team rector Canon Stephen Taylor said: "There is a lot already happening both between the Christian churches in Sunderland and gradually with the inter-faith communities in the city.

"This would be a chance to bring all those representatives together with the people to celebrate our many gifts and talents.

"I think it would make a very good annual event in the Sunderland calendar."

St Benedict Biscop was chosen in the 1990s when the Sunderland Echo newspaper carried out a city-wide poll on adopting a saint.

The Diocese of Durham has confirmed no other church formalities are required to adopt the saint.

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