When County Councils were created in 1889, Sunderland was made a County Borough, and was thus independent of Durham County Council, although it was still deemed to geopgraphically lie within County Durham. In 1894 the remaining parts of Bishopwearmouth parish outside Sunderland Borough were made a separate parish called Bishopwearmouth Without. The parishes within Sunderland Borough (including Bishopwearmouth and Bishopwearmouth Panns) were abolished in 1897, since which time Bishopwearmouth has had no administrative status, being simply a suburb of Sunderland. Bishopwearmouth Without was absorbed into Sunderland in 1928. Ford, Ryhope, Silksworth and Tunstall were absorbed into Sunderland in 1967, thus bringing the whole area of the ancient parish of Bishopwearmouth within Sunderland.
Sunderland became part of the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear in 1974. Following the abolition of Tyne and Wear County Council in 1986, Sunderland became a self-governing unitary authority - effectively reinstating the situation which had existed between 1889 and 1974. Sunderland was made a city in 1992. Bishopwearmouth's former parish church of St Michael's was renamed Sunderland Minster in 1998. The modern city centre of Sunderland covers much of the former village of Bishopwearmouth.