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Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Events:

Interfaith Prayer Vigil:

The next Interfaith Prayer Vigil takes place on Sunday 3 October 2021 at 3.00pm. Thereafter they take place every first Sunday of the month.

Churches and faith communities are standing together against Hassockfield and the detention of women seeking asylum.

See poster below for details.


Public hearing on Universal Basic Income

This event, a collaboration between the Mercy Hub, Justice & Peace, Church Action on Poverty NE and UBI Labs takes place online on Saturday 16 October 2021 from 11.00am to 1.30pm.

You can listen to an explanation of what U.B.I. is, hear the arguments for and against it and listen to people who the policy is intended to help. Find out more about the event here.

To book your place please visit and register on eventbrite.

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News:

Afghan Resettlement

As you will be aware the UK Government has announced a resettlement program for Afghans. It will be up to Local Authorities to accept and co-ordinate this and they may well need help and support from community groups.

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell, Episcopal Vicar for Caritas, is trying to attain some clarity on what help may be required, but is aware that this may differ across the Diocese and that a local approach is necessary. Fr. Adrian will make known any requests for help that he becomes aware of, but please do look out for local appeals in your area.

Please do also remember that already in our region we have a large number of people seeking asylum and refugees, many of whom are destitute. If you are in a position to help those in the Newcastle area please click here and in Stockton there is RASPS (Refugee and Asylum Seekers Project, Stockton), address and contact details here.


Lebanon Crisis and Appeal

A report has been prepared for Bishop Robert on the on–going crisis in the Lebanon. Lebanon remains at the forefront of one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time and continues to host the highest number of displaced per capita in the world and in one of the smallest countries in the world, showing tremendous commitment to displaced Syrians and vulnerable populations within its borders.

The social and economic crisis in Lebanon is turning into an education catastrophe, with vulnerable children facing a real risk of never returning to school. Even before the pandemic, rising inequality since the onset of the economic crisis in the country led to a gap in access to quality learning among Lebanon’s poorer children. 55% of Lebanese families are living in poverty, with even higher rates among Palestinian (70%) and Syrian refugees (90%).

Facts at a glance:
• 3.2 million People in need.
• Lebanese Pound has lost almost 80% of its value.
• Poverty Rates for Lebanese 28% in 2019 up to 55% in May 2020
• Extreme poverty among displaced Syrians 55% in 2019 up to 89% in 2020
• 46% of Lebanese households report reducing adult consumption in favour of children.
• 80% of Palestinian refugees report lost their jobs or having reduced income.

While we cannot help every situation Aid to the Church in Need does have an appeal to help. You can find more details here, Aid to the Church in Need | Lebanon Emergency Appeal 2020 (acnuk.org). On the donate page you can choose the campaign you wish to support so please do scroll down to Lebanon in the drop-down box.

You can read the full report prepared for Bishop Robert here and a Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (2021 update) document is available by email from admin.caritas@diocesehn.org.uk.


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. This builds on the work of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales from 1999, where they welcomed the Macpherson Report following the death of Stephen Lawrence; and, in the light of its useful definition of ‘institutional racism’, urged all Catholic organisations and institutions to look again at how they could better serve minority ethnic communities in our society.

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. The event was opened by Bishop Robert Byrne CO, with presentations delivered by Kelechi Dibie (on racial microaggressions) and Beverley Prevatt–Goldstein (on the consequences of racism).

More than 60 people attended the event, including representatives from the Clergy, Board of Trustees, Episcopal Council, Partnership Deans and Chairs, Pastoral Forum, Curia, Justice & Peace, and the Vicariate for Education.

After the video presentations, attendees broke into nine groups to discuss the following questions:

  1. What is your initial reaction to what you have seen and heard in the presentations?

  2. What will you do as a result of what you have heard and learnt today?

  3. What is essential for us, the Diocese, to do to progress towards being a fully anti–racist Diocese?

The response to the evening was powerful, with many people recognising the need to make changes in their individual lives, as well as a significant number of actions to develop better and more open practice across the Diocese. The Anti–Racism working group will now look to continue its deepening of this issue and widening of awareness across the Diocese.

For more information or opportunities to be involved, please email Dr. Nigel Lightfoot, Chair of the Pastoral Forum.

EV for Caritas, Fr. Adrian Tuckwell
on behalf of the Anti–Racism Working Group


Overseas Aid – Petition

There are suggestions that the Government is planning to reduce its commitment to giving 0.7% of GDP as overseas aid. We want to keep this commitment, and maintain this country's proud record in helping the world's poor. Please join us in signing this petition, you can sign it here.


Appeals:

Current Appeals

Click on link to review the appeal:

J&P Refugee Project – Destitute Asylum Seekers

Little Sisters of the Poor

Vinnie's Cafe (SVP)

Aid to the Church in Need Lebanon Appeal

Justice & Peace Refugee Project – Destitute Asylum Seekers in dire need:

The Covid-19 Pandemic is having a profound effect on destitute asylum seekers locally who receive no financial support or accommodation from Government.

It has been a particularly difficult year for the Refugees and Asylum Seekers in our local community and we are hoping to provide something extra for them this Christmas. So please continue to support the project financially if at all possible, people have been incredibly generous despite the problems we are facing. Thank you.

Details of the Project’s Bank Account are; DHN, Justice & Peace Refugee Project sort code 40–34–18, account number 52854058. Alternatively, cheques made payable to DHN, Justice & Peace Refugee Project can also be sent to Sara Harris, Justice and Peace Refugee Project Co-ordinator, St. Vincent’s Support Centre, New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2TQ.

Please click here to read more about the project and how you can help.

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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.

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.

Please follow this link to see how you can help.


Separately, David and Theresa O'Neill have asked us to share their fundraising efforts for the Little Sisters of the Poor.

David says, "Over the years, with the help of parishes & individuals, we have raised over £14,000 for the home. We collect used postage stamps (any country or period), currency (notes & coins from any country or period), broken gold & silver (even earring backs) & military medals (any conflict or period).

We can be contacted by email or by phone at 0191 264 5771. Our address is 34 Morston Drive, Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 7RZ.

Thank you for your help."

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St. Vincent de Paul Society:

Vinnies Cafe

Vinnie's Cafe offer help and support to people in need in Newcastle for St. Vincent De Paul Society. Their food bank supplies are currently running low. If anyone could help them with donations it would be very much appreciated. You can donate through their justgiving fundraiser or call them to arrange a suitable drop off for supplies by tel: 0191 261 6027 (option 1, Monday – Thursday).

Alternatively, you can send a bank payment to Nat West Bank, sort code: 60–60–04, account no. 46073051 and ref: SVP Newcastle. Thank you.

SVP St. Vincent’s Support Centre, Newcastle – Volunteers & Donations Needed

SVP Support Centre next door to St. Dominic’s Church on Newbridge Street NE1 2TQ

Our support Centre is open Monday to Friday 9.00am till 4.00pm. We provide a range of support from helping with Vinnies free hot meal service, food parcels, clothing, toiletries and small household items. The Centre also has a small Vintage Charity Boutique shop, which helps to raise much needed funds to support our vital work. Donations of Food, clothing, handbags, shoes, toiletries, accessories and other small household items are always needed.

Volunteering Roles Available

  • Helping to make food parcels and support Clothing packs for people and families in need

  • Community Kitchen & Café roles

  • Volunteers to help at Vinnies free Tuesday Lunch Service

  • Vintage Charity Boutique shop Volunteers needed

  • Knock and drop deliveries drivers to help deliver food parcels and support packs in the Newcastle / Gateshead area.

If you have items, you would like to donate or would like to find out more information on how to get involved in volunteering please give Emma a call on 07453 615139 or email: emmab@svp.org.uk.

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Aid to the Church in Need – Lebanon Appeal

A report has been prepared for Bishop Robert on the on–going crisis in the Lebanon. Lebanon remains at the forefront of one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time and continues to host the highest number of displaced per capita in the world and in one of the smallest countries in the world, showing tremendous commitment to displaced Syrians and vulnerable populations within its borders.

The social and economic crisis in Lebanon is turning into an education catastrophe, with vulnerable children facing a real risk of never returning to school. Even before the pandemic, rising inequality since the onset of the economic crisis in the country led to a gap in access to quality learning among Lebanon’s poorer children. 55% of Lebanese families are living in poverty, with even higher rates among Palestinian (70%) and Syrian refugees (90%).

While we cannot help every situation Aid to the Church in Need does have an appeal to help. You can find more details here, Aid to the Church in Need | Lebanon Emergency Appeal 2020 (acnuk.org). On the donate page you can choose the campaign you wish to support so please do scroll down to Lebanon in the drop-down box.

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