Welcome to your Diocesan eNewsletter

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic - Church Response:

Mass for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-line, Social Care Workers and other Key Workers:

In order to show spiritual solidarity with the sick and their families and NHS and social care workers, a Catholic Bishop will celebrate a live-streamed Mass in his Cathedral for people to join. Cardinal Nichols celebrated the first of these masses in Westminster Cathedral on 23 April. They will take place every Thursday at 7.00pm, as follows; Thursday 30 April – Bishop Richard Moth at Arundel Cathedral, Thursday 7 May – Bishop Marcus Stock at Leeds Cathedral, Thursday 14 May – Bishop Robert Byrne CO at Newcastle Cathedral, Thursday 21 May – Bishop Mark Davies at Shrewsbury Cathedral, Thursday 28 May – Bishop Terence Drainey at Middlesbrough Cathedral. The link to these masses can be found on the Bishops’ Conference website.

Diocesan Day of Prayer for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-line, Social Care Workers and other Key Workers on Thursday 14 May 2020:

Bishop Byrne will celebrate Mass for the sick and their families, and for NHS front-line and social care workers at 7.00pm on Thursday 14 May in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne. The Bishop has also made 14 May a Diocesan Day of Prayer for the sick and their families, and all who support them. Further information including liturgical and prayer resources will be made available on the Diocesan website in the near future.

The Diocesan day of prayer will begin at 10.00am with an online stream of Divine Office at St. Mary’s Cathedral, led by Fr. Michael McCoy. Streams can be found via our website, Facebook or Twitter.


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
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.



News from our Vicariates:

The Vicariate for Caritas:

The Episcopal Vicar for Caritas is Fr. Adrian Tuckwell (email: evcaritas@diocesehn.org.uk).

Justice and Peace:

The Justice and Peace Co-Ordinating Council has a management committee for the Refugee and Asylum Seekers' project. Its members have worked very hard to maintain support for those who can no longer visit the project, which had to close temporarily.

It now provides £30 food coupons via Tesco and Asda for those in greatest need. By April 20th 46 had been distributed and this has been a life-saver for many. It has passed on food supplies from its store for distribution.

Our work is still costing money, so donations would be appreciated by Bank Transfer to sort code: 40-34-18 Account: 52854058.

The AGM and annual mass has been postponed.

Tyne and Wear Citizens has been campaigning to ensure children entitled to free school meals do not go hungry and are properly nourished during Lockdown.

Meantime, the Council will continue to engage with the Diocesan Investment Committee with regard to the Ethical Investment policy.

The Vicariate For Faith & Mission:

The Vicariate for Faith & Mission is responsible for Liturgy, Catechesis, Ecumenism, Evangelisation, Interreligious Dialogue, Lay Formation & Leadership, Marriage and Family Life, Spirituality and Youth Services. Those who work within it are engaging with Parishes and Partnerships to encourage life-long growth in faith and the delivery of sacramental and faith formation.

The Episcopal Vicar for Faith & Mission is Monsignor Andrew Faley and the Lay Coordinator for Faith & Mission is Amy Cameron. Administration support is provided by Amy McDonagh and Claire Walton.

Diocesan support during COVID-19:

The following resources have been created to support you and your loved ones in this unprecedented time of the COVID–19 pandemic. We offer these prayers in solidarity and we want you to know that the Church community is praying with you and you are not alone.

'Resources for times of grieving and death'. This includes ‘Prayers for loved ones we cannot visit in hospital’, ‘Prayers for someone who has recently died’ and ‘Prayers for a loved one whose funeral you cannot attend’.

'Prayers for the sick and dying'. This contains a collection of Catholic prayers to comfort you and your loved ones during difficult times of sickness and death.

'Stations of the Light' is a spiritual journey with Christ that takes you through fourteen of the most inspiriting events of His post-Resurrection life on earth, up until Pentecost.

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.

The Liturgy Toolkit:

This Toolkit is designed to assist us to review in a positive way how Sunday worship especially is celebrated in the parish and to consider how we might wish to enhance the experience of it in our community, or whether we might be able to share any good practice with others.

The starting point is the Liturgical Ministries Spreadsheet Tool which is designed to enable an initial assessment of how the parish is doing in relation to seven specific areas of liturgical practice. These areas cover the roles undertaken by; Sacristans, Welcomers, Servers, Leaders of Children’s Liturgy, Readers, Intercession Writers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. By answering these questions a simple overview of the Sunday Liturgy as it is currently practiced in the parish is created.

Visit our website to find out more.

MarriageCare Preparing Together Courses:

All Diocesan arranged day courses have been suspended and all couples who have booked have been advised. However online preparation, known as FOCCUS, (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study), is an alternative, always available, whereby couples register online to complete a comprehensive questionnaire, covering the same themes as a day course, which is reviewed by a trained facilitator. Booking access is gained via the MarriageCare website under the ‘How we help’ section: ‘Marriage preparation’. Full details of booking a preparation day (when they become available again) or a FOCCUS course are provided.

Healthy Couple Relationships and support when they are not:

All relationships have their ups and downs and sometimes a positive solution is hard to find. In these extraordinary days in which we experience lives of enforced isolation such difficulties may become enhanced and overriding. MarriageCare, a charity with which this Diocese collaborates on preparing engaged couples for marriage, provides a counselling service for couples or individuals experiencing difficulties in their relationship which one or both find challenging and problematic. You can access support through the MarriageCare website in the ‘How we help’ section, ‘Relationship counselling’. Full contact details are provided for further enquiries and venues, and include FAQ’s.

Domestic Abuse, Family Support and Support for Children in Domestic Abuse:

MarriageCare also provides many useful links under the ‘How we help’ section; Relationship support organisations; Debt and Finance; Family support organisations; Domestic abuse – here there are many links under the ‘domestic violence help resources’ including support for women, men and children.

Strong in the Face of Tribulation, The Church in Communion: A Sure Support in Time of Trial:

The Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See have produced a book intended to be a little help offered to all, so as to know how to discern and experience God’s closeness and tenderness in pain, in suffering, in solitude and in fear. Of course, faith does not eliminate pain; ecclesial communion does not eliminate anguish. Rather, it does illuminate reality and reveal that it is pervaded by the love and hope based not on our abilities, but on the One Who is faithful and never abandons us.

It is divided into three sections; prayers, rituals and supplications for difficult moments.

It is available now to read or download.

Partnership News:

Partnership News:

The Finchale Partnership - Keeping in Touch:

Finchale Partnership have shared the many ways their community have kept in touch. From phoning those that are most vulnerable, continued publication of parish bulletins, the setting up of Facebook groups to share resources, but also discussing daily walks and those that may need support for shopping are just some of the many things they are doing. Without a local church currently live streaming Mass, their parishioners have been watching streams from places such as Rome, Pasadena and Seattle. Finally, their schools are also working hard to support children of key-workers while staying in touch with those currently in lockdown providing schoolwork and materials for prayer and reflection. 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:

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 (May 2020) now.

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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