Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Pontop Partnership Area Mission

Parishes that took part in the Pontop Partnership Area Mission:

  • All Saints, Lanchester
  • Our Blessed Lady and St. Joseph, Brooms
  • Our Blessed Lady Immaculate, Blackhill
  • Our Lady of the Rosary, Shotley Bridge
  • St. Joseph, Stanley
  • St. Patrick, Consett
  • St. Patrick, Dipton
  • St. Pius X, Consett
  • St. Teresa, Annfield Plain
  • The Sacred Heart, Byermoor

Schools that took part:

  • St. Pius X, Consett
  • St. Mary, Blackhill
  • St. Patrick, Consett
  • Our Lady and St. Joseph, Leadgate
  • St. Patrick, Dipton
  • St. Joseph’s, Stanley
  • St. Mary’s, South Moor
  • Sacred Heart, Byermoor
  • All Saints, Lanchester
  • St. Bede’s Catholic School and Sixth Form College, Lanchester


Coming together as a new partnership seemed like the right time for a new challenge. For years, our Youth Ministry Team have been visiting secondary schools to deliver week long missions, so widening this to include the parishes and primary schools in the partnership seemed like the obvious next step. But this was no old-style mission, with a visiting priest preaching a sermon every day. Instead, the community took it upon themselves to minister to each other- and to the wider world- through a programme of events and activities. It’s fair to say that some were daunted by this task but people committed themselves to it nonetheless, trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide them.
Our objective was to offer every individual an encounter that would help them grow closer in their relationship to Christ and the community, with particular emphasis on groups that sometimes feel excluded: children, young people and families, young men, the elderly sick and housebound and the poor. It was also seen as a chance to strengthen our links with other Christian traditions and to develop leadership within the partnership.

The mission took place over three weeks, starting on the feast of Christ the King. The first week saw numerous activities aimed at the children and families in the 9 primary schools in the partnership. From Advent-wreath crafts to prayer stations, from Mass to a mission themed bake-off, there was something for everyone. For the second week, the focus moved to the 10 parishes and, again, a variety of events: a pub talk with Gram Seed, a healing and mercy service, an ecumenical reading of Mark’s gospel and a musical extravaganza, to name only a few. Last but definitely not least, the mission moved to St. Bede’s, the Partnership’s secondary school, who not only engaged their students with lively presentations of gospel stories and many other activities, but invited parishioners in to share them.

The question now is: what next?

Partnership Mission Flyer (PDF)