Bede Tower

Welcome to Bede Tower

Recently refurbished and restored, set in two acres of quiet grounds yet still in the heart of Sunderland, this nineteenth century mansion is now the home of Bethany City Church and the north-east’s newest place to meet.

You may need a quiet space for a meeting; the comfortable rooms in the old house are ideal for the purpose. But if you need something bigger we have a 250-seater theatre and a sports hall.

Our refectory can seat 100 people and the kitchen can provide meals for that number.

So whatever your meeting or conference needs talk to us, we are sure we can help you out!

Who we are

Bede Tower is the home of Bethany City Church, a motley crew of Christians and their friends who come together to worship God. Throughout the week we meet in all kinds of ways – and for all kinds of reasons – explore our website and you will see what we mean. Join us on a Sunday morning or evening and you will meet both established Christians and others who are just looking.

Nine years ago we began using the Stadium of Light and a variety of other places for our events and meetings. From schools and cafés to conference venues and The Bridges Shopping Centre, we have grown to love sharing our spaces with others and now we have found a home in Bede Tower, we want to share it with others in the city.

What we do

We are keen to be a venue for regular or one-off events, business meetings, community groups or just a family gathering. With so much experience of renting and borrowing places we know what makes an ideal venue and we’ll do our best to be great hosts – our aim is to be flexible and welcoming with everyone who comes into our home.

We want to develop Bede Tower to be a centre that businesses and other groups love to use in the city, a beautiful and peaceful environment to work, an exciting place to meet others – somewhere that builds community life in Sunderland.

The Venue

map A B C D E F G H

With a large auditorium, sports hall, four meeting rooms and a refectory for 100 people, we are the ideal meeting place for groups big and small.

We also have ample parking on site, Wi-Fi throughout the building and can provide a quiet place to work if you need personal space for a while.

Drop in or give us a call to arrange space, facilities and catering for your next gathering or conference.

Meeting Room 2: A comfortable lounge with soft seating for 15 people.
Meeting Room 1: A spacious room with lots of natural light, that seats 12-15 people around tables or 20 people in rows for training or meetings.
Sports Hall: A mid-sized hall suitable for various sports and activities.
Refectory: Café-styled communal space that you are welcome to use for coffee, lunch or even to host your whole event.
A large bright Meeting Space for 50-60 people, with large windows and high ceilings – great for a variety of activities and meetings. The folding partition means it can be either be used in isolation or conjunction with the rest of the Refectory.
Theatre: A large auditorium for conferences and presentations – fully equipped with PA and data projection – with a comfortable capacity of 200-250.
Meeting Room 4: A spacious room with lots of natural light, that seats 12-15 people around tables or 20 people in rows for training or meetings.
Meeting Room 3: A spacious room with lots of natural light, that seats 12-15 people around tables or 20 people in rows for training or meetings.



Bede Tower offers an environment where you can relax and concentrate – you won’t be looking at breeze-block walls or struggling to make yourself heard over the traffic.

Here’s what we can offer

A large auditorium, four meeting rooms, breakout space all over the building and use of a communal refectory. For more details about the venue click here.


We are happy to tailor a package to include room & equipment hire, choice of room layout, pens & pads, extension leads, a choice of lunch and then tea, coffee and biscuits mid-morning and in the afternoon.

What’s more we won’t cost the earth. Why not get in touch and discuss your requirements?



The Developing Community

As a church we’re very keen to support the community groups, charities and voluntary sector organisations in our region. We would love for Bede Tower to become an active hub in Sunderland. Already there are exercise classes, community groups and other organisations regularly using the building.

Recent Events

In the last few months we have hosted schools plays, youth projects, support groups and a craft fair, as well as one off meetings, staff lunches and a homeless drop-in.



Room Hire

The same facilities we can offer businesses are available with special discounts to your community, voluntary and charity groups. Get in touch and let us know what you need.



We are a great venue for your kids’ parties!

Our soft play is a safely contained room specially designed for kids under five years old. You can watch your children from the adjacent café, and the kitchen is close by too.

If your kids are too old for the soft play, then they could play five-a-side (or any other games you might like) in the sports hall.

The History of Bede Tower


Bede Tower in Burdon Road, Sunderland, was built in 1851 for Anthony John Moore, solicitor, chairman of the Gas Company and Mayor of Sunderland from 1854-55.

A J Moore as a prominent citizen, developed much of the Ashbrooke and Christchurch area, buying up Mowbray land and using Andrew Middlemiss as his architect.

Bede Tower was designed in the Italian Renaissance style. The house consists of a two-storey block with a five stage tower. The tower is similar to that of Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s summer residence on the Isle of Wight.

A painting from around 1854 shows the original house in its grounds and surrounded by virgin countryside with a clear view as far as Tunstall Hills. Within 100 years this whole area would be covered with houses.

Bede Tower did not serve as a private home for long. By 1890 it was in use as a Boys’ School, and in the First World War as a regimental hospital.

Two photos still exist showing the building from Burdon Road in 1890, and a group of First World War soldiers on the drive with the tower in the background.

In 1918, the governing body of the Eye Infirmary bought the site with the intention of erecting a new hospital there. The new Eye Infirmary was eventually built elsewhere and Bede Tower was then purchased by Canon W. Smith acting on behalf of a Roman Catholic body which wanted the site for a school.

In the 1960s the site was acquired by Sunderland Polytechnic who built a theatre and gymnasium onto the old house and extended the buildings with a refectory and kitchens. The adjoining building, Clifton Hall, served as a Student residence and teaching block.

The Polytechnic sold the site to Sunderland High School and until it became the home of Bethany City Church, the buildings were used as a school.

Contact Us


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Bede Tower is set back behind a short wall on Burdon Road, opposite the Indian restaurant, Yuvraaj, and just up from Mowbray Park. We are within 5mins walk of Park Lane Interchange (bus and train station) and about 10mins walk from Sunderland City Centre. Within our grounds, there are around 50 parking spaces, including disabled parking.

For directions please download this map
0191 565 4000

Bede Tower
Burdon Road