Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Living the Joy of the Gospel

On Sunday 6 September 2015 Christians around the North East gathered together in Durham Cathedral to celebrate our common call to proclaim and live the Gospel with joy and hope. Many hundreds of people filled the Cathedral for this inspiring service, which highlighted the growing partnership between Anglicans and Catholics in the service of the Gospel.

The service was built around the 3P's – prayer, peace and the poor – in the form of a joint public conversation between the Anglican Archbishop John Sentamu and the Catholic Archbishop Malcolm McMahon in the context of joyful service of prayer and praise.

After the dialogue by the Archbishops, all members of the congregation were given a specially-commissioned card, and invited to give this card to a neighbour, friend or family member as an invitation to explore the life of faith.

The service ended with a commissioning of all present by Bishop Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, and Bishop Séamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, to go out and spread the Good News to all.

     We are happy to see us all gathered together today in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Across every denomination the Holy Spirit is inspiring, provoking and leading the Church of Jesus Christ to proclaim the Good News in this land. We can only do this by living the joy of the Gospel in our everyday lives.

To be commissioned to share the good news with another, as will happen in this service, is a wonderful privilege. For the best decision anyone can ever make, at any time, in any place, is to follow Jesus Christ and that's what we are asked to do, to be his ‘missionary disciples’ and to bring his message of love, mercy and forgiveness to others. To do this effectively, we need to work together wherever possible and so we are pleased to see that this service is built around 3P's; prayer, peace and poverty, because this is what Pope Francis suggested in one of his meetings with Archbishop Justin Welby as a possible way forward together.

Today in this great cathedral, we pray that God would empower us all that we may know the height, depth, breadth and width of his love for each of us, and, inspired by this transforming love, we may be compelled joyfully to share this love with others for the building up of his kingdom and the evangelisation of this land.

Séamus, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle and Paul, Bishop of Durham

Press release by Sr. Michael.