Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Newman Association

The Newman Association is a national organisation whose members meet regularly in local ‘circles’ to discuss and develop their understanding of the Christian faith. Most members are (Roman) Catholic, but baptised Christians of other traditions are warmly welcome as Associate Members. The Association was founded in 1942, with a formal constitution registered in 1947. The original aim was to answer the needs of Catholic graduates, but is now open to all Christians who seek to promote the aim of an educated laity. The Association takes its name from St. John Henry Newman, who “wanted a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity…” (The Present Position of Catholics in England, 1851).

We hope that by promoting a reasoned expression of our faith and stimulating ‘action for change’, we can make an important contribution to the Church.

Local Circles:

Cleveland Newman Circle:

The Cleveland Newman Circle straddles the two Dioceses; Hexham and Newcastle and Middlesbrough, ranging from the southern parishes of Hexham and Newcastle Diocese to North Yorkshire.

Meetings are held in Cathedral Hall, Middlesbrough TS8 0TW with Tea/Coffee from 7.30pm and the talk starting at 7.45pm. They usually consist of six open speaker meetings between September and April; plus any other meetings/events that may occur.


The Newman Association, Cleveland Circle have announced their programme for 2019–2020 as follows:

The programme is also available to download (pdfword).

All talks are held St. Mary’s Cathedral Hall, Middlesbrough – 7.30pm for 7.45pm.

  • Wednesday 19 February 2020 – ‘University Chaplaincy: is it really necessary?’ by Fr. Marc Lyden-Smith (Chaplain to the University of Sunderland) and Mary Palmer (Assistant Chaplain).

  • Wednesday 18 March 2020 – ‘ “Your Word is a lamp for my steps and a light for my path” Psalm 118 verse 105. God speaks to me in his Word. How can I turn my ear to the sound of his voice?’ by Fr. Pat Kilgariff.

  • Wednesday 29 April 2020 – ‘Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Surprisingly Catholic Protestant Martyr’ by Prof. Terry Wright BA, MA, DPhil (Oxon), CertEd.

  • Wednesday 20 May 2020 – AGM at St. Mary’s Cathedral Hall, Middlesbrough

  • Saturday 20 June 2020 – Summer Outing (tba).

Tyneside Newman Circle:

The Tyneside Newman Circle meets at St. Mary's Church Hall in Cullercoats, North Shields. They hold a number of talks though the year with a varity of distinguished speakers. Talks usually start in the Church Hall at 7.30pm and are held on a Wednesday.

New members are welcome. You do not have to be a member to attend their talks and all are welcome.

Do you want to know more about 'what' the Newman Association is and why it was formed? Read this flyer to find out more about the Tyneside Newman Circle.


Details of events will be posted here as announced.

Other Local Events:


Professor Eamon Duffy, one of the world’s most influential and widely respected historians, will visit the Holy Name Church, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne on Saturday 29 February at 12.30pm to speak about St. John Henry Newman, the subject of his most recent book about England's newest saint. Bishop Robert Byrne will introduce Professor Duffy.

Duffy’s, ‘The Stripping of the Altars’ (1982) was described in the London Review of Books as ‘one of those rare books which have the power radically to alter our understanding of a large piece of the past’, overturning what we thought we knew about the Reformation. His new book, ‘John Henry Newman: A very brief history’, on which this visit to Holy Name is based, makes a complex and important figure hugely accessible.

Tickets are free and all are welcome.

National Events:


Details of events will be posted here as announced.

National website/links:

The Newman Association website can be found online here: http://www.newman.org.uk.

As well as its local Circle meetings, the Association organises national conferences and events, and produces a quarterly publication called The Newman. We are affiliated with many organisations including CAFOD, Pax Romana and the National Board for Catholic Women. Within the Association we also have Special Interest groups covering a variety of issues.