About us


Showing Christian love and encouragement in our communities.


Ministers in our Circuit

Rev Michael Holland Superintendent Minister for the Sunderland Circuit


I look after the churches at High Southwick and Castletown and have responsibilities of oversight over the Sunderland Circuit. I came to Sunderland with experience in the World Church in Africa and Asia. I bring a desire to see the power of God at work both in the Church and in people's lives. I am constantly amazed at the relevance of the Bible for life in today's world and I enjoy talking about this with others as we learn together what it means to follow Jesus today.



Rev Jane Cook


"I have been a minister since 2010 and a minister in the Sunderland Circuit since September 2018. I lead and care for the Methodist people in East Boldon, Cleadon and Whitburn. I am passionate about seeing people grow in faith and discipleship; helping churches develop inspiring worship; and encouraging the whole church family to recognise and use their gifts, so we are all involved in God's mission in our communities and in his world. When not "ministering" I enjoy walking, cycling, a little bit of canoeing, live music, good food and living where I do because it is wonderful to live so close to the sea!


Rev Richard Bainbridge


"I am the Methodist Minister who has the absolute joy of being Minister at New Silksworth Methodist Church. Prior to this my ministerial journey has taken me to Bishop Auckland and Gateshead. I have therefore always been in the North East of England, the best place to be!


I am married to Rachel and have 4 children and 3 grandchildren who remind me of my advancing years even though I still feel young and daft! I love God and I love people, so being a Minister in the Methodist Church is perfect for me. For me there is no division betwen sacred and secular so I try to weave my love of gardening, sport, reading and life in general into our worship.


New Silksworth Methodist Church is a gathering of open, down to earth, friendly people who love God and care about others. It is very much a church rooted in its own community where it is well known and well respected. We have lots going on and enjoy being together for worship, for fun and working with the other churches in the village to share the Good News of Jesus.


Come and join us, you would be very welcome".






Rev Gareth Phillips


"I began my ministry in Fulwell in September 2010 after studying for a BA in Ministry and Theology at Durham University and during this time I was also given pastoral responsibility for Roker Methodist Church. Consequently, Fulwell and Roker share a number of significant events during the church year. I was born and raised in the North East of England and was a teacher of science in several North East schools before moving into ministry.


I am married to Jackie and have two children, Matthew and Charlotte, and enjoy running, cycling and surfing (when my busy schedule allows) and I am a fan of Middlesbrough Football club. I would describe my theology as liberal post evangelical!


At both Fulwell and Roker, we believe that belonging takes precedent over believing or behaving. We look to be welcoming to all, regardless of age, class, sexuality, denomination or circumstance. We enjoy the fact that our church buildings are used extensively by the community and would love to see new visitors to our worship services whether you are already a committed Christian, exploring what faith means for you or even if you are just interested in seeing what happens inside a church building.