Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Announcement at St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Dominic’s

In a recent statement, Bishop Robert Byrne CO said:

It is now three weeks since Canon Michael McCoy’s tragic death and Fr. Simon Lerche and I are well aware of the deep sense of loss and sadness that many of us are feeling at this time. Canon Michael played a pivotal role in this Diocese for many years and was well loved by many of those he ministered to in his various appointments, including his final appointment as Dean here at the Cathedral and Parish Priest of St. Dominic’s. He also taught at Ushaw College for a number of years and carried out duties for the Bishops’ Conference. He was a great friend to many of us. His loss is felt not just within this Diocese, but also by many people across the Church.

To read the statement in full click here.

A Marathon of Prayer – May 2021

The Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle welcomes Pope Francis’ invitation to Catholics and 30 Marian Shrines around the world, including the Shrine at Walsingham, to dedicate the month of May to a marathon of prayer for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the heart of the Holy Father’s wish, the month of May will be dedicated to a marathon of prayer from the theme “From the whole Church the prayer to God went up incessantly” (Acts 12:5). The initiative will involve in a special way all the Sanctuaries of the world, so that they become promoters to the faithful, families and communities of the recitation of the Rosary to invoke the end of the pandemic.

The Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham has been selected to start the month of prayer on Saturday 1 May. Shrine Rector Mgr. Philip Moger and the Shrine Team will be praying. The event will start with an address of the Holy Father and liturgical programme in Rome at 5.00pm UK time. The Rosary from Walsingham will be streamed around 6.00pm.

The recitation of the Rosary will be live streamed from Walsingham to the Vatican Television Centre, so that Pope Francis can join in live. The Walsingham Intention is for those who have died from the pandemic across the world.

The broadcast will be supported by EWTN and is best watched through the Shrine’s Facebook Page or YouTube Walsingham Catholic TV.

Read more here about the Marathon of Prayer in our Diocese and the resources available.

Laudato Si’ Week 2021

Laudato Si’ Week 2021 will take place from May 16 – 25 with global events and hundreds of local and regional events organized by partners around the world. This week will also be the culmination of the Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year (proposed by Pope Francis from May 2020 to May 2021) and the celebration of the great progress the entire Church has made on its journey towards ecological conversion. Laudato Si’ Week 2021 will also be a time to reflect on what the COVID–19 pandemic has taught us and to prepare for the future with hope.

For more information about the week visit our Laudato Si’ page. You can find out more about the Laudato Si’ week, how you can register for the event and access all of the resources available through the official website.

Bishop Robert’s Visit to Shepherds Law

Parishioners of St. Mary’s, Whittingham and St. Ninian’s in Wooler were delighted to welcome Bishop Robert Byrne to celebrate Mass at Shepherds Law on Sunday 2 May. The visit was in celebration of the double anniversary of beloved parishioner and local hermit Brother Harold Palmer, whose 90th birthday was on May Day – and this year is also the 50th Anniversary of his foundation of Shepherds Law.

Read the full article here.

Article reproduced with the kind permission of Mrs Morton-Gledhill, Treasurer of the Friends of Shepherds Law.

Little Sisters of the Poor – Urgent Appeal

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.

The Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Joseph’s Home in Newcastle are finding the current economic climate increasingly more demanding. The emergency lockdown measures we implemented to aid efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and keep our residents safe has had a massive impact on our fundraising activities and the charitable donations we rely on to meet the daily running costs of the Home.

We are appealing for urgent donations to help us continue with our work of caring for the Elderly and to enable us to carry out essential fire prevention upgrades to our Home.

In these uncertain times, small acts of kindness can make a huge difference in helping our Home.

Make a Donation

Cheques made payable to ‘Little Sisters of the Poor’ can be sent to: St. Joseph’s Home, Westmoreland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7QA. Alternatively, secure, online donations can be made here.

We ask God to bless and reward you and your families for your continued support.

Global Healing 2021

Global Healing is an initiative that highlights our need to care for our common home, the earth. It supports Laudato Si' the encyclical written by Pope Francis on how our faith calls us to urgent action to care for the earth.

A Global Healing course was organised by Laudato Si’ Animators in the UK to run during Lent in 2021. It was very well attended by over 900 individuals with the following feedback gathered (read here). Additionally, a useful Toolkit has also been created bringing together handouts and resources from the course that can be used (access here).

You can read more about Laudato Si' and Global Healing here.

George Floyd statement by the Diocesan Anti–Racism Working Group

The Anti–Racism Working Group of the Diocese welcomes that justice has been done as a result of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. It is a welcome step in highlighting that racism can lie under the surface in an organisation, often hidden. Our own Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) stated last year after the murder of George Floyd, “As Catholics we recognise that racism is an evil which must be opposed; we all have a responsibility for actively promoting racial justice. Whenever we ignore racism or dismiss BAME people’s experience of it, we are complicit in violations of human dignity. We pray for God’s help to overcome racism in all its forms and that we might protect everyone who suffers its consequences. We are all made in God’s image.” CBCEW June 3 2020.

In our Diocese we have taken the first steps to enable us to strive towards achieving those aims. Through the work of the Anti–Racism Working Group we are seeking a deeper understanding of racism and how it may lie beneath the surface in our own thoughts and actions, both as individuals and as parish and church communities and other structures. We will expand this work so that all people, whatever their ethnicity, find our Diocese to be a true home to them and their families. It is important that our Diocese, reflecting the values of Christ, shows a willingness to listen to the experiences and needs of those who may have experienced racism in our Church.

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell, Chair of the Anti–Racism Working Group

Anti–Racism Working Group established in Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO has commissioned a working group to raise awareness of racism, from micro–racial aggression to the fatal consequences of major racism.

The group was established following the death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter protest, when a parishioner approached the Diocese with a request that some action be taken. At the request of Bishop Robert, the parishioner was put into contact with Fr. Adrian Tuckwell, the Episcopal Vicar for Caritas, who contacted members of the Pastoral Forum and, with the blessing of the Diocese, created the Anti–Racism Working Group.

On 26 January the Diocese held a launch anti-racism webinar titled “Racism: A Challenge for our Diocese” which aimed to raise awareness of racism and its consequences. More than 60 people attended the event.

If you would like to read more about the background, the webinar and how you can get involved, please click here.

A community inspired by the vision of Pope Francis in Fratelli tutti during the pandemic

A blog by Fr. Chris Hughes has been published in The Tablet reflecting on Pope Francis vision, ‘Fratelli Tutti’ and the ongoing relationship between Tyne & Wear Citizens and the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle.

To read the article in full click here.

Bishop Robert Byrne CO has announced the phased reopening of churches for Mass and individual prayer

The following churches are open for Mass (M) and / or individual prayer (P). Please visit the links below to access more information.

Cathedral Church of St. Mary, Newcastle upon Tyne
(M & P) –

Alnwick, St. Paul's Church (M) – Link

Annitsford, St. John the Baptist (M) – 07963 515190

Ashington, St. Aidan (M & P) – Link

Barnard Castle, St. Mary (M)Link

Berwick, St. Cuthbert (P) – 07979 735022 or email

Bishop Auckland, St. Mary (M & P)Link

Bishop Auckland, St. Wilfrid (M)Link

Blackhall, St. Joseph (M) – 07483 318764

Blackhill, Our Blessed Lady Immaculate (M & P)Link

Blaydon, St. Joseph (M)Link

Blyth, Our Lady and St. Wilfrid (M)Link

Boldon, The Sacred Heart (M)Link

Brooms, Our Lady & St. Joseph (M & P)Link

Byermoor, The Sacred Heart (M)Link

Cheeseburn Grange, St. Francis Xavier (M)Link

Chester–le–Street, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Chopwell, Our Lady of Lourdes (M & P)Link

Consett, St. Patrick (M & P) – Link

Consett, St. Pius X (M)Link

Coundon, St. Joseph (M)Link

Cowpen, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Coxhoe, Ss. Joseph, Patrick and Cuthbert (M)Email

Crawcrook, St. Agnes (M & P)Link

Crook, Our Lady Immaculate & St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Cullercoats, St. Mary (M)Link

Darlington, St. Augustine (M)Link

Darlington, St. Teresa (M) – 07734 274559

Darlington, St. Thomas Aquinas (M & P)Link

Darlington, Ss. William and Frances de Sales (M)Link

Darlington, The Holy Family (M)Link

Dipton, St. Patrick (M)Link

Durham, Our Lady of Mercy and St. Godric (M)Link

Durham, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Durham, St. Joseph (M)Link

Felling, St. Patrick (M)Link

Ferryhill, All Saints (M)Link

Gainford, St. Osmund (M)Link

Gateshead, Immaculate Heart of Mary (M)Link

Gateshead, St. Joseph (M)Link

Gateshead, St. Wilfrid (M)Link

Hartlepool, St. Joseph (M) – Link

Hebburn, St. Aloysius (M)Link

Hebburn, St. James (M)Link

Highfield, St. Joseph (M) – Link

Hutton Henry, Ss. Peter & Paul (M) – 07483 318764

Jarrow, St. Bede (M)Link

Jarrow, St. Joseph (M)Link

Jarrow, St. Mary (M)Link

Jarrow, St. Matthew (M)Link

Langley Moor, St. Patrick (M)Link

Longhorsley, St. Thomas of Canterbury (M)Link

Minsteracres, St. Elizabeth (M)Link

Murton, St. Joseph (M)Link

New Seaham, St. Cuthbert (M) – 0191 581 2221

Newcastle, English Martyrs (M & P) Link

Newcastle, Our Lady & St. Vincent (M)Link

Newcastle, St. Andrew (M)Link

Newcastle, St. Charles’ Church (M) – Link

Newcastle, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Newcastle, St. Dominic's Church (M) – 0191 232 6953

Newcastle, St. John Vianney (M)Link

Newcastle, St. Lawrence (M)Link

Newcastle, St. Mark (M) – 07803 504923

Newcastle, St. Robert (M & P) Link

Newcastle, St. Teresa (M)Link

Newcastle, The Holy Name (M)Link

Newton Aycliffe, St. Mary (M)Link

North Gosforth, Sacred Heart (M)Link

North Shields, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

North Shields, St. Joseph (M)Link

Peterlee, Our Lady of the Rosary (M) – 0191 586 2526

Ponteland, St. Matthew (M) – 07803 504923

Prudhoe, Our Lady & St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Ryhope, St. Patrick (M)Link

Sacriston, St. Bede (M)Link

Seahouses, St. Aidan (M & P)Link

Sedgefield, St. John Fisher (M)Email

Shildon, St. Thomas Apostle (M)Link

Shotton, Our Lady of Lourdes (M)Link

South Shields, St. Bede (M)Link

South Shields, St. Gregory (M)Link

South Shields, St. Oswald (M)Link

South Shields, Ss. Peter and Paul (M)Link

Stanley, St. Joseph (M & P)Link

Stella, Ss. Mary and Thomas Aquinas (M)Link

Stockton, English Martyrs, Ss. Peter & Paul (M)Link

Stockton, St. Bede (M)Link

Stockton, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Stockton, St. Joseph (M & P)Link

Stockton, St. Mary (M)Link

Stockton, St. Patrick (M)Link

Sunderland, Ss. Cecilia and Patrick (M) - Link

Sunderland, St. Anne and Holy Family (M)Link

Sunderland, St. Benet (M) – 0191 548 6839

Sunderland, St. Hilda (M) – 0191 548 6839

Sunderland, St. Joseph (M)Link

Sunderland, St. Mary (M) – Link

Thornley, Sacred Heart & English Martyrs (M) – 07483 318764

Throckley, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Trimdon, St. William (M) – Email

Tynemouth, Our Lady and St. Oswin (M)Link

Wallsend, Our Lady & St. Aidan (M)Link

Wallsend, St. Bernadette (M)Link

Whitley Bay, St. Edward (M) - Link

Whittingham, St. Mary Immaculate (M) – 01665 574240

Winlaton, St. Anne (M & P) – Link

Wooler, St. Ninian (M) – 01665 574240

Due to social distancing measures, there will be a limited capacity in each church. Should the maximum capacity of a church be met, a queueing system will be implemented outside of the Church.

Please note: live streaming may be in effect during Mass. If you do not wish to be at risk of being filmed, please inform your parish priest or designated person on visiting the church.

Important Notice:

Please click here to download our handbook for the reopening of churches.

Please click here to read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) guide.

Please click here for a Prayer Resources for those visiting our churches or those that remain at home.

New Vicariates

We continue to make adjustments to our website menus to incorporate the new Vicariates that have been established and to allow for new content to be added as they evolve. The Vicariate for Care of the Clergy and the Vicariate for Caritas are now complete.

Work is underway to migrate existing content to the new Vicariate for Faith & Mission area of the website. This Vicariate is an umbrella that brings together many different areas of Ministry. The following diagram has been put together as a quick guide to help you have oversight and navigate the key Vicariate areas within the website.

You can visit the new Vicariate for Faith & Mission by clicking here.

COVID–19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic – Church Response

‘Where the Hell is God?’

In these trying times, many people are led to ask the big questions of life. Where is God in the midst of Covid-19? Seeking God, questioning God are very natural responses to times of trial and grief and they are not new questions to the Catholic Church. In this Irish Jesuit's podcast, Fr. Richard Leonard shares his journey in asking ‘Where the Hell is God’ in the face of tragedy and he provides some solid advice on how to support others facing distress.

Watch this introduction by Fr. Sean Hall:

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.

Vicariate for Caritas, Diocesan Pastoral Support and Outreach:

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell, Episcopal Vicar for Caritas provides a helpful summary of Pastoral Support available around the Diocese here (pdfword).

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell (email:

Vicariate for Faith & Mission:

Marriage & Family Life:

Pope Francis has announced that on 19 March 2021 the Church will celebrate five years of his Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”, on the beauty and joy of love in the family. On the same day he will launch the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family” which will conclude on 26 June 2022, on the occasion of the X World Meeting of Families in Rome with the Holy Father (22 - 26 June 2022).

Pope Francis has decided to institute throughout the Church the celebration of World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will be held beginning this year on the fourth Sunday in July (25 July 2021), near the liturgical memory of Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents of Jesus (26 July 2021).

A request from the Diocesan Church Music Association:

A call–out to all those who help in any way with liturgical music in their parish.

As the Coronavirus restrictions continue, particularly here in the North–East, the DCMA would love to know how parish musicians have been coping. Are you perhaps recording at home? Or maybe you are lucky enough to be back in church, and if so, what are you able to provide to enhance the Liturgy at this difficult time when there is still no congregational singing?

Please email us your comments.

We hope that this may lead to a potential Zoom meeting where we can share our ideas and support each other through this strangest of times.

Fr. Adrian Dixon's Reflection for Extraordinary Ministers:

Fr. Adrian Dixon has produced a short reflection for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion ahead of Corpus Christi; the usual time when ministers renew their commitment.

Fr. Sean Hall's Reflections on the Readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter can be read here.

Pat Kennedy MPS has shared a Reflection (the Pentecost Experience), which you can read 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.

Life After the Pandemic - Pope Francis

The Vatican Publishing House has released a free eBook, “Life After the Pandemic”, a collection of interventions by Pope Francis, with a preface by Cardinal Michael Czerny, to reflect on the vision of the world that is emerging after the pandemic and to which we are called to accompany. It is now available to read or download.

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.

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.

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.

Finance: Guidance for Completing your Annual Returns

The Finance Team have created new guidance for parishes about to complete their annual returns for 2021. This new guidance can be viewed or downloaded here.

Safeguarding: Delivering Change and Building Trust

For the latest news on the implementation of recommendations from the IICSA and Ian Elliott Review please click here.

The Vicariate for Caritas and The Road Centre

Caritas, in partnership with The Road Centre, is offering a number of resources to help adults, young people, and children cope with stress and anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Resource for adults (pdf).
Resource for young people (pdf).
Resource for children (pdf).

Vicariate for Faith & Mission

The Vicariate for Faith & Mission are able to provide copies of our lockdown prayer resources to those without internet access. Please contact the Vicariate by ringing 07375 934713 or click on the poster for alternative contact details. Please pass this information onto those without internet access.

Mass by Phone Service

During these times when our churches are closed and masses are being streamed online, the Diocese of Middlesbrough have set up a system to allow people who do not have internet access to listen to Mass over the telephone.

If you would like to access, the telephone number to call is 01642 130120.

If you know anyone who may benefit from this service, you can download and print a poster with details.

Live Streaming of Masses

A number of parishes have set up a live stream of their Masses.

For more details of frequency and timings please click here.

Government Coronavirus Guidelines

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

NHS website

Government website

Stay Home | Protect the NHS | Save Lives

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.

Coronavirus (COVID–19)

For further information and how we are responding to the Coronavirus pandemic please click here.

Click here to find out more about The God Who Speaks – The Year of the Word.

Diocesan Events:

See also full screen calendar

Diocesan Vision

Read the new Diocesan Vision.

Diocesan E-Newsletter

Read latest newsletter and subscribe


Posters for events in the Diocese.

Local events.

Posters for non-Diocesan events.

Northern Cross

The May edition of Northern Cross is out. Read Page 1.

Last updated on 6/05/21

Patrons of the Diocese: St Cuthbert, Bishop and Confessor and Our Blessed Lady Immaculate