Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Coronavirus (COVID–19)

Quick links:

Click on the following quick links to jump to the section detailed.

Bishop Robert's Homily on the Feast of St. Cuthbert

The Vicariate for Caritas – Diocesan Pastoral Support and Outreach – Includes an appeal by the Little Sisters of the Poor, Newcastle and Diocesan Pastoral Support details.

Live streaming of Masses

The Vicariate for Faith & Mission – includes a petition for a National Day of Prayer, Relationship Support and Domestic Abuse support through MarriageCare, Evanglisation Summit reply, Easter week at home resources, Diocesan Spiritual Support and Pope Francis, a Prayer to Mary

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England and Wales

Papal Blessing, “God turns everything to our good”

Cardinal Nichols on ‘Easter Duties’, Confession and the Forgiveness of Sins.

Coronavirus (COVID–19) Guidelines

Government Guidelines

Latest Diocese News:

Bishop Robert's Homily on the Feast of St. Cuthbert

Listen to Bishop Robert's Homily:

Recorded at the Cathedral Church of St. Mary's on Friday 20 March 2020 Bishop Robert shares his thoughts and prayers on the challenges faced in the light of Coronavirus.

The Vicariate for Caritas –
Diocesan Pastoral Support and Outreach:

Little Sisters of the Poor Home, Newcastle:

The Little Sisters of the Poor have launched a vital fundraising appeal, in response to the increasing pressures faced by St. Joseph’s Care Home during the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Please follow this link (pdfword) to see how you can help.

COVID 19 (Coronavirus) is a very real threat which is causing many organisations many difficulties. It is also a developing situation which means constant change. I believe this information is correct at the time of going live.

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell (email:

This document (pdfword) provides full details of what has stopped, secondly what we could do in response. A summary follows.

The following temporary closures have been announced:

The Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project have had to temporarily close its doors. They are still searching for ways to support help their destitute clients. FOOD DONATIONS CANNOT CURRENTLY BE ACCEPTED. However, any one who is able to support them financially can do so by setting up a one-off payment or standing order. Details of how to do so can be found on the Refugee Project page.

The Mercy Hub has closed its door for its groups.

St. Cuthbert’s Care has to concentrate its efforts on it residential services, so all PACE groups are suspended.

SVP Blackfriars and the Deaf Centre in Newcastle have also closed however, Blackfriars is offering a telephone service to help people as best they can. You can contact them on 0191 261 6027.

What can we do?

Many parishioners are generously offering time and energy to help the most vulnerable. Parishes can compile a list of offers of help and then link them, with permission, to those in community who are in need. Some parishes have Outreach groups, SVP, Legion of Mary and other such offering help.

COVID Mutual Aid groups are people who want to do all they can to support their own local communities. There are many of the across the Diocese with many volunteers willing to help out. On COVID Mutual Aid's website you can search for groups locally. Many have Facebook pages providing further information.

Live Streams across the Diocese

The following parishes have indicated that they will be live streaming Masses during the closure of churches for acts of public worship. Please visit individual links for the latest news and confirmation of dates and times of these broadcasts.

Billingham, St. Thomas of CanterburyFacebook page, Mass usually at 12.00 noon, Exposition at 1.00pm and Benediction at 2.00pm everyday.

Blaydon, St. Joseph's and Winlaton, St. Anne'sFacebook page, Mass daily at 10.00am.

Blyth, Our Lady & St. Wilfrid's and Cowpen, St. Cuthbert'sFacebook page, Mass (Monday – Saturday) at 10.00am and Mass (Sunday) at 11.00am.

Chester le Street, St. Cuthbert and Sacriston, St. Bede – a recording of daily Mass will be available to view via their Facebook Page.

Consett, St. Patrick's (Pontop Partnership) – Sunday Mass at 9.30am via Facebook page and YouTube channel. There will also be a daily Gospel reflection shared through the partnership Facebook page.

Cramlington, St. Paul's – are live streaming Masses through the Facebook Page. Masses will be celebrated every day at 10.00am including Sunday. They will also celebrate a Sunday Vigil mass on a Saturday evening at 6.00pm.

Crook, St. Cuthbert's – Mass daily at 10.00am via Facebook and YouTube channel. Morning prayer streamed daily at 9:30am before mass.

Darlington, St. Augustine's – Sunday Mass at 9.15am via their Facebook page.

Gosforth, St. Charles – The schedule of services now is; Daily (Sunday to Friday): 8.00am Morning Prayer, 9.00am Rosary, 9.30am Mass, 11.00am to 2.00pm – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Saturday: services as per Sunday to Friday, plus 6.00pm Mass (Vigil). These are all streamed through

Hartlepool, Parish of the Holy Family – Mass at 10.00am on Sunday and 6.00pm on Wednesday via their Facebook page. Stations of the cross are streamed at 9:30am on Saturday.

Hexham, St. Mary's – are now broadcasting a high quality stream of Mass and other services live from. This can be accessed on via their parish website and their YouTube channel. Timings; Sunday Mass 10.00am, weekday Mass 6.00pm and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Sunday 4.00pm.

Minsteracres, St. Elizabeth's – Mass streamed at 9.30am on Sunday via their Facebook page and a recording available after on their YouTube channel.

Newcastle, The Cathedral Church of St. Mary – the Cathedral will live stream Holy Mass each day Monday to Saturday at 12.00 noon and on a Sunday at 11.30am. Mass will still be offered for specific intentions. Please check the Partnership website for any further updates. The live stream of Mass can be found on the Cathedral's YouTube Channel. There will also be a live streaming of a time of quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and devotions from 5.00pm until 5.45pm.

Newcastle, Holy Name – Mass streamed daily (no Mass on Monday) at 10.00am via their YouTube channel.

Newcastle, St. Anthony of Padua and Wallsend, Our Lady and St. Columba – Mass streamed at 10.00am (Wednesday and Friday) and 11.00am (Sunday) via their YouTube Channel.

Newcastle, St. Teresa, St. Lawrence, Our Lady and St. Vincent – Mass streamed via their Facebook page weekdays at 1.00pm (except Tuesday when at 6.00pm) and Sunday at 11.00am. Morning Prayer everyday at 8.00am and the Rosary at 6.00pm.

Newton Aycliffe and Shildon, Parish of the Holy Family – Mass daily at 7.00pm via parish website.

North Gosforth, Sacred Heart – Mass streamed weekdays, except Tuesday at 10.00am, Saturday at 6.30pm and Sunday at 10.00am. Eucharistic Service streamed at 10.00am on Tuesday. These are all streamed through

North Shields, Parish of St. Cuthbert's and St. Joseph's – Sunday Mass at 11.00am via Facebook.

Seaham Harbour, St. Mary Magdalen and Houghton–le–Spring, St. Michael’s – Mass streamed at 11.00am on Sunday through Facebook and YouTube channel.

Stockton Parish Family – are currently streaming Masses via their Facebook Page.

Sunderland, Our Lady of Mercy Parish – Masses are currently being shared through their own YouTube channel. You can also find details and information on their Facebook page.

Washington, Parish of St. John XXIII – Mass streamed daily at 10.00am via Facebook Page.

Whitley Bay, Backworth and West Monkseaton, Parish of Our Lady Star of the SeaFacebook Page, Mass daily at 9.30am.

The Vicariate for Faith & Mission

Petition for a National Day of Prayer is seeking signatories to a petition to the Prime Minster for a National Day of Prayer in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. For further information and to sign the petition please click here.

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.

Evangelisation Summit

4,000 people tuned in for the Evangelisation Summit and with sharing it reached over 10,000 people in countries like Canada, USA, UK, Malaysia, Philippines, Africa, and Poland, just to name a few. If you missed the event, or would like to watch it again, there is a replay available here.

Celebrating Easter at home

We have created two resources to help you and your families celebrate the Easter season at home. Easter Week readings includes a short reflection on the readings used in this Easter week from Fr. Sean Hall.

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.

Diocesan Spiritual Support:

These 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 know know that the Church community is praying with you and you are not alone.

'Resources for times of grieving and death' 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' contains a collection of Catholic prayers to comfort you and your loved ones during difficult times of sickness and death.

Other spiritual resources are available here (pdfword), including prayer resources.

Mgr. Andrew Faley, Vicariate for Faith & Mission (email:

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.


Latest National News:

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England and Wales

Bishops proclaim hope in the Risen Lord as they recognise pain of Catholics who cannot pray in Church or receive Sacraments. Read it here.

Papal Blessing, “God turns everything to our good”

On Friday 27 March 2020, 11 million people tuned in to be joined in universal communion with Pope Francis. In this unique act Pope Francis performed the extra–ordinary papal blessing “Urbi et orbi” granting a plenary indulgence to the faithful and reminding us all that Christ is our anchor and hope.

This beautiful, sacred and solemn moment in the midst of the pandemic can be seen here (courtesy of Vatican News Facebook Page):

You can read the full transcript of the blessing through Vatican News Website.

Cardinal Nichols on ‘Easter Duties’, Confession and the Forgiveness of Sins

As we approach our most important week of the year – Holy Week – the way we follow Christ – from his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, to the foot of the Cross, to an empty tomb – will be completely different this year.

Our Catholic churches would have been packed on Easter Sunday but in 2020 we won't be able to take communion and celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour under the church roof. This year we will follow Holy Week at home.

In preparation, many would have availed themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation – Confession – to prepare for a fresh start at Easter.

But what does it mean for our spiritual well–being and salvation if we can't fulfil our "Easter Duties"?

Many have asked, Cardinal Vincent Nichols answers in this video.

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.

Church Services TV stream live Masses from many locations across the UK and The Tablet has put together a useful summary of resources you can use.

Government Guidelines

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