Welcome to your Diocesan eNewsletter

Around the Diocese:

Volunteers' Week (Monday 1 - Sunday 7 June 2020):

The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle would like to thank all of its volunteers in offering support to our praying communities in North East England. Your kindness and hard work is greatly appreciated, and we pray for your safety during this difficult time.

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.

Live stream of Masses:

The following parishes have set up a live stream of Mass. Full details of timings and how to access these Masses can be found here:

Billingham, St. Thomas of Canterbury
Blaydon, St. Joseph's and Winlaton, St. Anne's
Chester le Street, St. Cuthbert and Sacriston, St. Bede
Consett, St. Patrick's (Pontop Partnership)
Cramlington, St. Paul's
Crook, St. Cuthbert's
Darlington, St. Augustine's
Gosforth, St. Charles
Hartlepool, Parish of the Holy Family
Hexham, St. Mary's
Minsteracres, St. Elizabeth's
Newcastle, The Cathedral Church of St. Mary
Newcastle, Holy Name
Newcastle, St. Teresa, St. Lawrence, Our Lady and St. Vincent
North Shields, Parish of St. Cuthbert's and St. Joseph's
Stockton Parish Family
Sunderland, Our Lady of Mercy Parish
Washington, Parish of St. John XXIII
Whitley Bay, Backworth and West Monkseaton, Parish of Our Lady Star of the Sea

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

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

As you may know I was recently appointed by Bishop Robert to lead this vicariate within the Diocese. My hope had been to visit outreach, support and charitable projects across the Diocese in these first few months. For obvious reasons that is not happening. I invite anyone who is involved with any Parish, Diocesan or St. Cuthbert's Care PACE project to contact me (details below) to give me an overview of the project, how you are coping (if at all) during this time and to let me know if there are any issues you are currently facing or foresee could be an issue in the future.

I look forward to hearing from you and, more importantly, working with you in the very near future.

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

Justice and Peace:

Following a meeting with the Finance Officer of the Diocese it has been agreed a representative sponsored by the Justice and Peace Co-ordinating Council will join a meeting of the Diocesan ethical investment group.

St. Thomas More Academy in North Shields, along with Citizens UK network are lobbying the Government to improve its food voucher scheme to support families in food poverty. David Watson, head teacher, told The Tablet (9th May):

I hear stories about families struggling in lockdown every day and children going hungry. We need to ensure that all families in need know how to access support and can do so quickly.” Mr Watson said his school had bought supermarket vouchers to help around 200 children from 160 vulnerable families.

Justice and Peace contacts are being encouraged to voice their concerns regarding the proposed takeover of Newcastle United by the Saudi consortium with the minister for sport, their local MPs and the Executive of the premier league.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si', two masses were offered by Fr. Adrian Tuckwell and Fr. Chris Hughes.

Appeals on the Diocesan Website:

Little Sisters of the Poor:

The Little Sisters in Newcastle report, "We have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown to us. It is encouraging and reassuring to know that we are continuing to receive donations. We are extremely grateful for the donations received (£17,576.19) as these help support the daily running costs of the Home and the costs of our PPE, which have increased considerably."

Diocesan Refugee Project appeal:

With the closure of churches and the foreseen drop off in food and financial donations and appeal on the Diocesan website brought a fantastic result in the number of donations, having received extra donations of approximately £17,000 in the months of March and April. Bearing in mind that at this time individuals and families are being furloughed, made redundant or generally having to deal with an increased cost of living this was truly very generous. The Treasurer, Marjory Knowles is trying to contact as many people and Parishes as possible to thank them on behalf of the Justice and Peace Co-ordinating Council and The Project. To donate please see details on Refugee Project page of Diocesan website.

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

The Vicariate For Faith & Mission:

As we find ourselves in lockdown we may find we have more time to reflect. We might be experiencing a Spiritual hunger and a sense of isolation. Perhaps with this new found time we realise that beneath the surface of our normally busy lives there has been, for quite some time, a longing for spiritual nourishment. With the church buildings being closed and the Sacrament unavailable, perhaps we are realising how much we need and value what the Church provides. In times of uncertainty knowing that the Church still stands and has weathered the storm of so many times of danger, fear and worry it is good to remember the beauty and wisdom of the Christian message – that God saves and we are never alone.

You may find some of these resources helpful:

Those preparing to be received into the Church

As a Vicariate we are very aware that there are hundreds of people in the Diocese that were unable to be received into the Church at Easter. We want to reassure you that you are in our prayers, you have not been forgotten and we look forward to the day when the celebration can take place. In the meantime, we hope you are in contact with your catechist and group, and that you are accessing the many Spiritual resources available online either through your local parish or Partnership or through the Diocese as a whole. If you would like to be informed of these resources please follow the link at the bottom of this section for keeping in touch.

Have you considered taking up some online study and formation?

There are many resources available for free during this pandemic and they are wide-ranging. For example you could do a free online course in ‘Christianity Through It’s Scriptures’.

Or for some practical formation Fr. Stephen Wang offers daily videos on how to live your faith when you are at home in lockdown through the Pause for Faith YouTube channel.

Or perhaps you know of people turning to the Church for the first time:

Sycamore is a programme designed for Catholics new to the faith, although the content serves as a good refresher. The films are available free during lockdown without a subscription and can be accessed via this link.

Alpha is also available now as an entirely online programme. For more information follow this link.

How about having a at home retreat?

The Jesuits are offering a whole host of resources and online opportunities to help support people through this lock down including 6 day retreats.

As restrictions are slowly lifted and as I write people are able to drive for their daily exercise you might want to consider a self-led pilgrim walk through the grounds of Minsteracres which are now open.

A Day of Scripture 19th June 2020:

After the success of the Diocesan Day of Prayer, we want to offer another day of Diocesan reflection focusing on the Year of the Word. This day of Scripture will feature a wide variety of opportunities catering for all levels of understanding of Scripture.

Prayer Resources:

Within the Diocese many new resources have been created during lockdown. These include a Novena leading up Pentecost and some short guides to key Catholic Prayers like the ‘Angelus’, ‘I Confess’, ‘Communion Invitation’. These can all be found on our website and we will continue to add to these over the coming weeks. With over 1,200 average viewers per hour on the Diocesan Day of Prayer we wanted to ensure the resources from the day remain available over the coming months. These can be found on our Diocesan website.

Asking the Big Questions?

With the pandemic many people are asking about the big questions of life – Where is God in the midst of human suffering? Fr. Sean Hall alongside Fr. Richard Leonard provide an interesting video response to this discussion on the front page of our Diocesan website.

Lockdown but no internet?

So much of our response to lockdown has been to go digital, with many people embracing technologies they wouldn’t normally use. There is however increasing concern for those who don’t have access to live streamed masses, daily reflections and zoom coffee mornings. One response to this has come from the Middlesbrough Diocese who have a telephone Mass – this can be accessed via the number 01642 130120 (NB. you will be charged a local rate for this call).

Keeping in touch:

The new vicariate for Faith & Mission is keen to keep in touch with parishioners and to offer them supportive resources and formation opportunities. There are new online meetings and prayer resources being created every week. If you haven’t yet signed up to our mailing list but wish to do so the link is here.

For more general enquiries regarding Faith and Mission matters please use our NEW email address: adminfaith.mission@diocesehn.org.uk.

Interreligious Relations:

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:

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:

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 (June 2020) now.

Centre for Catholic Studies:

We at the Centre for Catholic Studies hold the wider CCS family in the Diocese and beyond in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Here are some pieces that CCS members have written about the pandemic – some words of hope, consolation, food for thought and more.

The latest CCS Newsletter also begins with a reflection on our current circumstances – by CCS student Gaël Pardoën, entitled ‘Being the Dismembered Body of Christ’. It also features:

  • A report on the recently completed project, ‘Religious Life for Women in East and Central Africa: A Sustainable Future’, by Catherine Sexton.

  • A piece about the new FMDM Fellowship in the History of Catholicism, in which we hear from Sr. Jane Bertelsen FMDM (Congregational Leader) and new CCS member Brian Casey.

  • A flavour of James Kelly’s new book, ‘English Convents in Catholic Europe, c.1600–1800’.

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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