Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO


Diocesan Environmental Group:


Bishop Robert has established a Diocesan Environmental Group which has been meeting regularly since February. The group has been formed to support the Diocese in taking concerted action to address the climate and ecological emergency recognising the call by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ to care for our common home.

The science informs us that we need to take action at all levels of society, including within our own Diocese to avert catastrophic climate change, which threatens the viability of all life on earth. Reducing our carbon footprint, learning to live sustainably in harmony with the whole of creation is an imperative for each and every one of us in our Diocese. We must learn to live our spiritual and physical lives in recognition that the earth is sacred.

The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence.” Thomas Berry

Within the Diocese the group will come under the Vicariate Caritas. The remit of the group which is still being finalised includes:

  • Drafting a revised Environmental and Social Justice Policy for approval by the Board.

  • Linking with the Guardians of Creation Project in Salford which is aimed at delivering the tools and know how to achieve sustainability within Catholic Dioceses.

  • Advising the Board on implementing sustainability policies and actions at a Diocesan level.

  • Working with schools and parishes to calculate the carbon footprint of our Diocese and assist with developing a plan to achieve carbon neutrality.

  • Establishing and supporting a network of climate champions in our parishes to instigate sustainability projects and actions.

  • Identifying, encouraging and promoting sustainable activities within our schools and parishes, sharing of good practice and examples.

  • Promotion of appropriate resources and information on adopting sustainable life styles.

  • Organising education and liturgical events to promote ecological spirituality and actions.

Group Committee Members:

The current committee members are:

Bishop Robert Byrne, Fr. Chris Hughes (Chair), Claire Hetherington (Primary Schools RE Advisor), Minnie Fraser (Property Surveyor and Environmental Lead), Chris Myers (Justice and Peace Co-ordinating Council), Deacon Richard Mclaughlin, Mel Fransicso-Lawless (YMT), Hannah Bartlett (YMT, Secretary) and Tim Madeley (CAFOD Co-ordinator North East).


Details of future events will be published here when available.

Resources (external links):

Theology Resources – Bishops’ Conference

Laudato Si’ Animators – Bishops’ Conference

Making your Parish Green – Bishops’ Conference

Saving Energy and Recycling at Home – Bishops’ Conference

Recycling and Saving Energy at Work – Bishops’ Conference

The Journey to 2030

Guardians of Creation Project – Diocese of Salford