Welcome to your Diocesan eNewsletter

Around the Diocese:

The Reopening of our Churches:

The Right Reverend Robert Byrne CO, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle has announced the planned reopening of further churches for individual prayer. Read more on the Diocesan website.

Safety Video for the Reopening of Churches in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle:

With the recent announcement of the planned reopening of churches in our Diocese, we have produced a short video to help you familiarise yourself with what you can expect when your church reopens. Please watch it here.

Live stream of Masses:

Many parishes have set up a live stream of Mass. Full details of which churches are offering this service and how to access them can be found here:

If any other parish is currently offering this service and wish to add their details to the list please email: webmaster@rcdhn.org.uk.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic - Church Response:

Do you need to speak to someone for support?:

For those who are seeking a Priest with whom they can speak at this time, could you please contact the Parish Priest at your local Church. You can find your local Church telephone number by visiting our Church directory and selecting the link for your church. This link will display the Church contact details.

Dedicated counsellors and listeners are also available at the Cathedral Listening Service on 0191 232 6953 and on the Northumberland Listening Service on 07732 980740.

Diocesan Pastoral and Spiritual Support:

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell, Episcopal Vicar for Caritas provides a helpful summary of Pastoral Support available around the Diocese here.

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell (email: evcaritas@diocesehn.org.uk).

Spiritual resources are available here, including prayer resources.

The Vicariate for Faith & Mission:

Pope Francis – Prayer to Mary for Protection during the COVID–19 Pandemic.

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,
with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that,
as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test –
and deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines:

The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales have issued some guidelines to enable Catholic churches and organisations to find the relevant information in one place. Visit their website for the latest guidance and advice.

The Liturgy Office of the Bishops' Conference has compiled a prayer resource for people affected by the Covid–19 virus. Read it here.

Government Guidelines:

Where do I get more information? Here are some helpful links.



Stay Alert | Control the Virus | Save Lives

News from our Vicariates:

The Vicariate for Caritas:

Episcopal Vicar for Caritas is Fr. Adrian Tuckwell

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell. email: evcaritas@diocesehn.org.uk or tel: 0191 414 2654.

Little Sisters of the Poor Appeal:

A huge thank you to everyone who answered the plea of The Little Sisters of the Poor after we launched an urgent fundraising appeal in response to the increasing pressures faced by St. Joseph’s Care Home during the current Coronavirus pandemic. To date, we have received £18,801 for which we are extremely grateful. With all fundraising events being prohibited, this unprecedented and ongoing situation is proving increasingly difficult and costly as we strive to meet the daily running costs of the Home and maintain the levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to protect the Sisters and staff.

We thank you, the great people of our Diocese, for your genuine concern and generosity.

Justice and Peace:

Just look at what we can do when we come together.” Marcus Rashford, Manchester United footballer, who led the campaign to secure school meal vouchers during the holidays.

We highlighted the need for these vouchers in our previous e-bulletin for the Diocese. Thanks to David Watson, Head of St. Thomas More Academy, who took a national role in campaigning for this change.

The Council has held one meeting with the members of the Diocesan ethical investment group.

Tyne and Wear Citizens relaunched its Listening Campaign by Zoom. Fr. Chris Hughes and Phillip Watson, both Council members, attended. The Diocese and Tyne and Wear Citizens are exploring how their relationship can be deepened and of mutual benefit. The Organiser of Tyne and Wear Citizens, Claire Rodgerson, has agreed to help the Diocese increase its awareness and understanding of BAME members of the Diocese.

The Diocesan Justice and Peace Project dispenses 74 food vouchers per month now that food distribution has ceased as the project had to shut. Emotional and practical help is given by telephone.

Collaboration between the project and the local SVP is being formalised. The Council is most grateful for the help they have received from the SVP and look forward to working more closely in the future.

We have been successful with a grant application to the The Albert Gubay Foundation, which we can use when the back-up from the Government is scaled down. We will be faced with extra costs, apart from the re-stocking, prior to the Project re-opening. Details in our next bulletin.

We are grateful for the continuing support from parishioners. April – £12,000. May – £7,500.

The Council members and members of other J&P groups in the Diocese deplored two events:

  • The Saudi takeover of Newcastle United, given the country's poor record on human rights.

  • HSBC, the Diocesan bank, for its support of the new legislation that would make Hong Kong citizens protests against China unlawful and the bank's investments in companies such as Caterpillar. Caterpillar supply the Israeli army with bulldozers, which are weaponised and used against Palestinian communities and to aid Israel's illegal settlements.

The Council conveyed their support to Baroness O'Loan, who was due to move an amendment to be debated in the House of Lords on 15th June regarding the new abortion regulations for Northern Ireland, which include abortions for sex-selection and non-fatal disability.

The Vicariate For Faith & Mission:

Lockdown and Faith:

For many people during lockdown faith has been greatly supported through the use of technology. Many parishes have been able to live stream or meet via zoom to keep some connection. We know however, that there are many people in our Diocese who do not have access to the internet. A number of parishes have established practices of providing prayer resources and paper bulletins directly to people’s homes. As a back up to this not being in place, we have established a central Diocesan prayer resource line. This phone number allows people to leave their name and address and request a posted paper prayer resource. The catch to this is we can only advertise the phoneline through the internet! So if you know of someone who might benefit from this service please pass this information on.

Year of the Word – Day of Scripture:

On Friday 19 June 2020, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in this the Year of the Word, we celebrated as a Diocese a day focused on Scripture. With over five hundred people joining us each hour, we gathered online to hear and reflect on the rich and varied role Scripture holds within our faith tradition. The sessions comprised of people from across the diocese sharing their experience and wisdom, breaking open the Word. The day included Bishop Robert Byrne leading Lectio Divina, Dr. Medi-Volpe-Ayres sharing scripture with children, a session entitled ‘Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible’ with Mr Nick McTernan and Imaginative contemplation with Fr. Mark Millward amongst many other riches. If you missed this occasion or would like to see them again they are all accessible via our YouTube channel, Day of Scripture playlist alongside those created for the Day of Prayer.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Liturgical Readers:

With Corpus Christi being celebrated whilst we were still in lockdown, it was felt it was important to remember the commitment that is usually renewed on the feast of Corpus Christi for our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. A reflection produced by Fr. Adrian Dixon was shared via a video to mark the moment and to encourage ongoing commitment for the year ahead. You can view the video here. In a similar way, our Liturgical Readers now have access to a video that focuses on their service and commitment. You can view it here.

RCIA Enquirers:

As we move into the summer months ordinarily we would be putting up posters in church advertising the opportunity for people to join an RCIA course. We know that many people have accessed church online in much larger numbers that normally would be expected. We want people to have access to support as enquirers and to have the space to move forward in this journey. Online adverts will be going out via our diocesan social media to encourage and signpost people to their local communities for this accompaniment.

For more general enquiries regarding Faith and Mission matters please email us at adminfaith.mission@diocesehn.org.uk.

Interreligious Relations:

Christian and Muslim Pray for Peace – Saturday 27 June 2020:

Sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Interreligious Department have been unable to hold their annual Christian and Muslim prayers for peace, in the beautiful historic Lady Chapel situated in Jesmond Dene. This event would have taken place on Saturday 27 June. The department would however, like to extend an invitation to all to join in saying the prayers that would have been included in our service. Please visit our website to access the prayer materials.

Dates for your diary in 2021:

Holocaust Memorial Events:

  • Tuesday 26 January – St. Mary’s Catholic School, Benton Park Road, Longbenton, Newcastle.

  • Thursday 28 January – St. Michael’s Catholic Academy, Beamish Road, Billingham.

More details to follow as announced.

Partnership News:

Partnership News:

Pontop Partnership: Re–opening of St. Patrick's Church, Consett for Individual Prayer.

Saturday 20 June saw the reopening of St. Patrick’s Church in Consett for private prayer. It was a beautiful sunny day and parishioners were welcomed into a warm, friendly and prayerful atmosphere.

The church was prepared with the help and direction of the Diocese after a full risk assessment was carried out. Full PPE was supplied along with guidance notes for the Cleaning Protocol. This is essential when giving out instructions to volunteers. Read the full article.

We welcome articles from EVERY partnership; if you have ideas to share, best practice for processes, events, good news or just some stories of success, let us know! We will provide a snapshot here each month with a link to the full article in the Partnership ‘Sharing Area’ of the Diocesan website.

Contributions can be sent to us by email or, if your prefer they can be sent to the Vicariate contacts that supports your partnership.

Partnership Upcoming Events:

Blackfriars Spirituality Group are hosting Space for Grace – a time for Prayer and Reflection.

Thursday 2 July 7.30pm to 8.00pm via Zoom (Enter the Meeting ID: 925 5631 6764 and Password: holyspirit). Can you please join them by 7.25pm for a 7.30pm start. All are welcome, so do try to join them!

Full details of events can be found listed on our ‘local events’ page of our website. If you would like your future event displayed here, please send details to us by email, including a poster where available. Please ensure your partnership name is clearly detailed and confirm if the event is limited to members of your partnership, specific groups or open to everyone.

Other News:

Catholic Social Teaching:

Catholic Social Teaching have their own monthly newsletter bringing a variety of information from its members of how CST has helped them and examples of CST in action around the Diocese. You can read or download the latest issue (July 2020) now.

Centre for Catholic Studies:

CCS members continue to reflect on the pandemic and create fora for others to do so, and we have created a Covid-19 webpage to gather everyone’s contributions. This month’s additions include reflections on hope, resilience, vulnerability, grief and mourning, and workers’ rights, among other things.

General News:

Knights of St. Columba:

As we enter this period of Lent we experience a great period of reflection. Sometimes we may find ourselves asking ‘what more can I do?

The Knights of St. Columba offer an opportunity whereby gentlemen can be more active in their faith and in their service to the Church.

We are actively looking for new members to help us in our work.

Please contact us by tel: 0141 883 5700 or visit our website for more information. Alternatively, please write to us at:

Brian Henry,
Knights of St. Columba,
Head Office,
75 Hillington Road South,
Glasgow G52 2AE

Pope's Worldwide Prayer network:

Each month the Holy Father will have a main prayer intention for people to use as part of their daily prayer, and he will also announce an "urgent intention" for people’s prayer. A short video based on the main intention published each month and known as 'The Pope Video'. These videos can be accessed through our YouTube channel.

Visit and bookmark our webpage to see this month's intentions now.

Social Media:

Contact us:

Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle, Department for Communication:
Tel: 0191 243 3310 or email: news@rcdhn.org.uk.

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