Hebburn man’s new book follows a teenage Venerable Bede

Joe Stewart with his books outside St Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth.
Joe Stewart with his books outside St Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth.

A retired teacher is continuing to spread the word about Venerable Bede - looking at his teenage life.

Joe Stewart has penned the second children’s book in his trilogy about the saint and his life growing up in the Northumbrian countryside.

Nobody knows if Bede actually visited Rome, but Benet and Ceolfrith made numerous visits, so why not Bede?

Joe Stewart

In his latest book, Bede’s World, the Hebburn-born author envisages more adventures about the North Eastern saint.

The 64-year-old retired teacher, introduced readers to the idea of a fictional account of the life of Bede as a boy in his first book, Bede’s Well, which was released two years ago.

Bede’s World is the second book in the trilogy and sees Bede the youth make a pilgrimage to Rome, as he examines his vocation.

Joe, a grandad, who lives in Whitburn, said: “This is the second of a trilogy of books I am writing about Bede and this new book looks at Bede as a teenager and focuses on a journey to Rome.

“Nobody knows if Bede actually visited Rome but Benet and Ceolfrith made numerous visits, so why not Bede?”

The author was born a mile away from St Paul’s Church, Jarrow, and now lives a mile away from St Peter’s Church in Monkwearmouth.

Joe said although both jealously claim Bede as their own, he thinks that they were equally important to Bede.

He said: “Having taught at St Joseph’s RC Primary, Sunderland, and St James’ RC Primary in Hebburn I have a foot in both camps.

“This new book also features Hilda, another great local saint with connections to Hartlepool and Whitby.”

The first book, Bede’s Well, is a fictional account of the boyhood of Bede.

Joe said: “Little is actually known of the early life of Bede and some accounts have him born in Monkwearmouth, north of the city of Sunderland, while other sources think he was born in Monkton, between Jarrow and Hebburn.”

The former teacher said he had always been interested in local history and writing the books was something he had always wanted to do. It was only when he retired that he had the time to bring his ideas to life.

Bede’s World and Bede’s Well are available to buy on Amazon for £5 each or via Joe’s web site: www.joeestewart.weebly.com.