Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

CHARIS Diocesan Service of Communion (CDSC)

Today, one thing ends, and another begins. A new stage of this journey is beginning. A stage marked by communion between all the members of the charismatic family, in which the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit is manifested for the good of the entire Church. A presence that makes each one equal, since each has been born of the same Spirit: great and small, old and young, engaged on the worldwide or local levels, all form a whole that is always greater than the part.” (Pope Francis, 8 June 2019)


The term ‘CHARIS’ stands for ‘Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service’. At the request of Pope Francis, the CHARIS statutes were erected on 8 December 2018 and the first International CHARIS General Assembly was held in Rome on the feast of Pentecost in 2019.

Up until this point, Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) had been served by two bodies at international level – one serving covenanted communities and the other serving prayer groups and other organisations in CCR. Both bodies were recognised at Pontifical level as ‘private associations of the faithful’ (i.e. undertaken by the faithful on their own initiative).

Pope Francis desired to see CCR reach a new level of unity and commissioned work in order to bring about one single service rather than two service bodies. As a result, CHARIS was established as the new and only international service for the entire Catholic Charismatic Renewal, with a ‘public juridical personality’ (i.e. carried out on the initiative of the ecclesiastical authority of the Church).

CHARIS aims to serve and create communion between all the realities existing in Catholic Charismatic Renewal for the good of the entire Church and the proclamation of the Gospel in the world. In order to do this effectively, CHARIS invites each country to develop a CHARIS National Service of Communion (CNSC) and the CNSC invites each diocese to establish a CHARIS Diocesan Service of Communion (CDSC).

Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle:

In the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle, the CDSC is integrated within the Vicariate for Faith & Mission (VFM) which provides support and ensures sustainability. Both the CDSC and the VFM will work towards the following shared objectives based on 3 key priorities given to CHARIS by Pope Francis:

  • To deepen and promote the grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit and the exercise of charisms throughout the whole Church.

  • To promote the ecumenical dimension of CCR and foster the commitment to serving the unity of all Christians.

  • To promote service of the poor and social action.

The CDSC is subject to the authority of the bishop and will operate in keeping with the guidance of the CHARIS National Service of Communion assuring coherence with the spirit of the CHARIS statutes. Bishop Robert Byrne has asked Fr. Shaun O’Neill to establish the CDSC in our Diocese.


The CDSC is made up of representatives from various realities or expressions of CCR within our Diocese. For practical reasons, it is not possible for each individual prayer group or reality to have a representative on the CDSC. Nevertheless, the aim is to include a broad range of expressions of CCR.

There is a new emphasis on building ‘communion’ (koinonia) by seeking fellowship and unity among the various expressions of CCR while celebrating the diversity which each brings. There is also a recognition of the important role which young people have in the Church and a commitment to nurture their spiritual growth and develop their leadership. The CDSC will aim to hold a gathering open to everyone at least once a year.

Service, rather than governance, is at the heart of the CDSC’s role. All members, including those with leadership roles, have limited terms of office to ensure that the CDSC remains truly representative of CCR in the Diocese and relevant to changing needs as they arise.

CDSC Contacts:

Co–ordinator: John Wheeler

Secretary: Alison Rebello

To view the current members of the CDSC, click here.

How to contact the CDSC:

Email: or tel: 07375 934713.

Useful Links:

This is the official CHARIS website.

This is the official website for Catholic Charismatic Renewal, England.

To receive a regular newsletter from CCR England, visit their website and subscribe to the email list.