Sunderland Ward

Brief History of the Sunderland Ward

Compiled by Sheila Hughes. If you have any information on the History of the Sunderland Ward or its members email:

1837-2000    2001-2007    2008-2009    2010-2012    2013



July 2008

This years Helping Hands was to help to clean and tidy the East Herrington School play area. The day was organised by Sister Julie Poulton, whose children are pupils of the school. Everyone that attended today all enjoyed working together as a ward and the satisfaction at the end of the day to see a job well done.

Gareth Hughes, Michael Bell and David Bate trim the hedge.

Michael Poulton with three of the fulltime Missionaries and Andrew Hughes clearing all the weeds.

Jordan Liddle with his friend Craig, Emma Leigh Poulton sister Nicky Hughes and Aaron Liddle all helping to clear away the all the cuttings.

Sister Julie Poulton making sure the house is nice and clean.

25th August 2008. The Sunderland Ward held a Barbeque in the grounds of the Church on this day. It was good to be able relax and meet everyone from the ward and the surrounding area, as other members from the Stake came to join in the activity. Many of the Sunderland Ward members have not been well lately so it was nice to see so many turn up. Sister Doreen Paterson is battling with cancer at the moment so we all wish her well.


20th September 2008. The Sunderland Ward celebrated the 165th Anniversary of the ward. The evening was organised by  Brother and Sister Keith and Sheila Hughes.
Everyone was asked to come in period dress, which most people did. Members told the history of the ward from accounts of past members.

3rd October 2008. The High Priest held a social in the cultural hall, it was organised by Michael Bell High Priest Group leader with his counsellors Fred Liddle and William Paterson. The night was a show of talent form the members of the Ward, with visiting “Abba”  as a special treat. The members that took place were, Doreen Paterson, Margaret Liddle, Nicola Hughes, Joan Gray, Christopher Poulton, Star Paterson.

Abba line up Nicola Hughes, Margaret Liddle, Doreen Paterson, Joan Gray.

Nicola Hughes,              Margaret Liddle              Rebekah Hughes as Abba fan

Bethany Liddle with the Spoon                          Hannah, Helen, Andrew, Adam Hughes

12th December. The Ward Mission leader Brother Robert Watt had an idea to get the neighbours  of the church into church by inviting them to see a film “The Testaments” so for two days  Brother Watt with the Elders and High Priest of the ward and personally invited all the neighbours to come and watch a film, on 12th December. He also invited all the less –active in the area. Brother Robert Watt is a very dedicated man, he wanted to make the film so authentic that he made a super size screen which looked like an Aztec opening with large pillars on each side, all hand carved in wood. Brother Watt must have spent many hours working on the carving, he even made a most beautiful cabinet to put books of Mormon in and pamphlets that any visitors can take home to read. All Brother Watt’s hard work paid off, on the night of the film the weather was not very good, very cold, but this did not put people off. Over 60 people turned up which might not sound much but most of them were non-members or less-active members, one family that came said that they had been wanting to back to church but did not know how to go about it, they were afraid, but this was away to come back and mix with the members again. The rest of the visitors were the neighbours around the church, it would have been nice to see more members to support the evening. We don’t know how many we come back but I am sure it will have made an impression on them that some day they might return.

17th December 2008 The Relief Society held it’s Christmas Party. The night was organised by the Relief Society Presidency with Helen Hughes, President Heather Forsyth as first Counsellor and Elizabeth Poulton as second. The night was arranged for the sisters to come and enjoy divine desserts, festive music and entertainment, we were asked to bring a sampling of our favourite holiday treats. Each sister was to give a gift to exchange, the gift was to give of ourselves, each sister was given a card where we could write on it a small act of service that we could give to one another. The night was a very enjoyable up lifting night, and to finish the night we got to enjoy the food that the sisters had brought.

16th December 2008 The Sunderland Relief Society held an enrichment activity on the afternoon, the activity was to pack the boxes of all the things that the sisters had collected over the year to help the homeless and the needy in the Sunderland area. Over the year with the help of Helen Hughes the Relief Society President and her counsellors Heather Forsyth and Elizabeth Poulton, the sister had collected things like Toiletries e.g. soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, flannels, shampoo. Stationary e.g. pens, paper, crayons, books, puzzle books. They also collected warm items, scarf, gloves, hats, socks, toys, games and treats, all these things were packed into boxes to be collected by the Salvation Army of Sunderland who were going to had them out on Christmas Eve.


10th February 2009. Sister Olive Tarrant died this day, Olive was a member of the ward from the 1970’s. Olive would be remembered by the Primary Children of the Ward as she bought every Primary child a Christmas present  every year. She will also be remembered by the young men of the ward that went on a Mission as she regularly wrote to every missionary of the ward. She served a Temple Mission in the late 1990’s and was well loved and respected by all her friends.

Ready steady cook, was the theme of this activity that was held in the Sunderland ward. Bro Andrew Hughes 1st Counsellor on the Bishopric organised this enjoyable night that was enjoyed by young and old.

First picture left to right.  Aarron, Emma and Anthony Jones, Julie and Holly Poulton.

Second picture,  Rebekah and Adam Hughes, Daniel Poulton, Hannah Hughes, Amy and Emma leigh Poulton.


Elder and Sister Guillot with their primary class.

Front row left to right, visitor, Jordon Liddle, Jack Davies.

Back row, Hannah Jones, Zoe Jones, Emmaleigh Poulton, Bethany Liddle, Ilaria Cerio.

March 2009 Elder and Sister Guillot arrived here as a missionary couple in August of 2008, the last missionary couple were here about 25years ago. Now it is time to for Elder and Sister Guillot to return home, they have been serving here in Sunderland for the last 18 months. They have served in the Primary as teachers, and sister Guillot was also music director in Primary. They have made many friends in the ward and will be sadly missed by all the ward members and thank for all the hard work they preformed in the Sunderland Ward.

Sister Guillot was the second generation in her family to serve in the Sunderland Ward, her father served here in 1928-29.


Elder Wayne L. Shaw was a missionary who was assigned to serve in Sunderland and surrounding areas from 1926 to 1928. He was what was then called Travelling Elders that covered the Newcastle District which was Blyth, Carlisle, Darlington, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Sheldon, Skelton, South Shields, Sunderland, and West Hartlepool.  

Sunderland ward members with Elder and Sister Guillot.

Friday 4th September 2009. The High Priest and Elders social was held on this day. The social evening was organised by Bro Fred Liddle,  A pie and pea supper started the night off just right. After the supper Sis Doreen Paterson started the night of entertainment with her beautiful voice and the members were ready and willing to join her in song. Other people that took part in the entertainment were, Star Paterson with one of her great dance routine, Carrie Bainbridge with her dance routine, Fred and Margaret Liddle with one of their famous skits that main your face hurt with laughing, they were must have worked hard to come up with such a routine. Others that took part were Aaron Liddle, Olivier White and Jack Davies.

September 2009 The Primary Presentation was this month which was organised by the Primary Presidency Sis Julie Poulton President and Sis Nicola Hughes 1st Counsellor. There were many readings and talks by the primary children, they all did so well considering most of them are under the age of  8. the children that took part were Bethany Jones, Ilaria Cerio, Aaron Jones, Brian Happer, Emmaleigh Poulton, Zoe Jones, Ethan Hughes, Daniel Poulton, Oliva White, Anthony Jones, Aimee Poulton, Adam Hughes and Rebekah Hughes. The theme of the presitation was “My Eternal Family” All the children did so well that made the Sunderland Ward members so proud of their young Primary Members.

11th September 2009. Was the date of the funeral service of Edna Braithwaite of the Sunderland Ward. Edna dedicated her life to serving in the church, she was the cleaner of the ward for over 30 years. Edna kept the chapel so clean that not one of the members ever dared to make a mess as Edna would be there behind you ready to make you clean it up. She was so well love by all the members of the Stake and other stakes in the area that it was hard to find a seat in the Chapel to pay our final respect.

  Edna work with her husband John in the Family History centre, and followed him around in the Stake as John fulfilled his calling as first counsellor in the Stake Presidency. Their Son-in-law is the Stake President, President Norman Johnson.

30th September 2009 Sharon Smiles was invited to talk to the Relief society sister about the homeless in the Sunderland area. The sister have been collecting clothing, tooth paste, soap, sock, and many more thing to make up boxes to give to the homeless, and Sharon was going to give an idea what would be needed and what it would mean the them. She told of how many of the people are ex-servicemen and how they find it hard to settle in to normal life, some are reliant on drink of drugs. Some just cannot cope with normal life. Sharon made us all think hard about these people and told us what we can do to help them.

7th November 2009 Joseph Mantell and Rebecca Forsyth were married in the Sunderland Chapel. Rebecca the daughter of John and Heather Forsyth has been a member of the Ward all her life.

7th November 2009. Andrew Hughes made this a special day for his wife Helen, who’s 30th birthday was to be on the 8th of this month. Andrew surprised Helen with a Ceilidh  band that played while Helen and 50 of her friends and family sat down to a three coarse meal. After the meal the rest of the Ward were invited to join in with a Ceilidh dance to celebrate Helens birthday. The evening went so well that the Stake President asked Bro Andrew Hughes organise them to come back on New Years Eve.

19TH December 2009 The relief Society Sisters under the direction of Helen Hughes Relief Society President and Heather Forsyth her counsellor, have been collecting gifts for the homeless people of Sunderland through out the year and have lots of boxes ready to go. The sisters wanted to do more for the homeless this Christmas that they all contributed food to make them all a Christmas dinner. The dinner was to be made and took to a hostel in the Sunderland area, but at the last minute the hostel was closed down because of lack of funds. This did not put the sisters off and when Sister Helen Hughes was given the go a head by the Bishop to have the meal in the hall of the Chapel they pulled out all the stops to make this a meal to remember. We were expecting 15 people but only 12 came, we had a very bad snow fall two days ago, one man could not stand the cold any longer he through himself in to the path of a car so he could be took into hospital, the other were had better luck and was taken into the local Police station where they will spend a couple of days and sent back on to the street.  The meal was served and some of the members sat with our guest which made it feel like a real family Christmas. The food that was left was boxed and took to the homeless that could not make it to the church. I think this made the sister feel the Christmas Spirit more this year as they gave of themselves and saw the smiles on their faces. After the meal Sharon Smiles the organiser of the homeless took everyone out side and lit a wish lantern and everyone saw it disappear into the distance and hope of a better year for every one there.  

19th December 2009  was also the date of the Ward Christmas party, orgainsed by Bro Andrew and Sis Helen Hughes. The Decoration was the best every seen in the Hall, Bro and Sis Hughes really went to town and made it look like Santa’s grotto.


Rebekah Hughes                                        Mavis and Sarah Spence