Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Coronavirus (COVID–19)

Quick links:

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Bishop Robert's Homily on the Feast of St. Cuthbert

The Vicariate for Caritas – Diocesan Pastoral Support and Outreach – Includes Destitute Asylum Seekers in dire need, an appeal by the Little Sisters of the Poor, Newcastle and Diocesan Pastoral Support details.

Live streaming of Masses

The Vicariate for Faith & Mission – includes Diocesan Spiritual Support and Pope Francis, a Prayer to Mary

Papal Blessing, “God turns everything to our good”

Cardinal Nichols on ‘Easter Duties’, Confession and the Forgiveness of Sins.

Coronavirus (COVID–19) Guidelines

Government Guidelines

Latest Diocese News:

Bishop Robert's Homily on the Feast of St. Cuthbert

Listen to Bishop Robert's Homily:

Recorded at the Cathedral Church of St. Mary's on Friday 20 March 2020 Bishop Robert shares his thoughts and prayers on the challenges faced in the light of Coronavirus.

The Vicariate for Caritas –
Diocesan Pastoral Support and Outreach:

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. Please click here to see how you can help.

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. Please follow this link (pdfword) to see how you can help.

COVID 19 (Coronavirus) is a very real threat which is causing many organisations many difficulties. It is also a developing situation which means constant change. I believe this information is correct at the time of going live.

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell (email:

This document (pdfword) provides full details of what has stopped, secondly what we could do in response. A summary follows.

The following temporary closures have been announced:

The Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project have had to temporarily close its doors. They are still searching for ways to support help their destitute clients. FOOD DONATIONS CANNOT CURRENTLY BE ACCEPTED. However, any one who is able to support them financially can do so by setting up a one-off payment or standing order. Details of how to do so can be found on the Refugee Project page.

The Mercy Hub has closed its door for its groups.

St. Cuthbert’s Care has to concentrate its efforts on it residential services, so all PACE groups are suspended.

SVP Blackfriars and the Deaf Centre in Newcastle have also closed however, Blackfriars is offering a telephone service to help people as best they can. You can contact them on 0191 261 6027.

What can we do?

Many parishioners are generously offering time and energy to help the most vulnerable. Parishes can compile a list of offers of help and then link them, with permission, to those in community who are in need. Some parishes have Outreach groups, SVP, Legion of Mary and other such offering help.

COVID Mutual Aid groups are people who want to do all they can to support their own local communities. There are many of the across the Diocese with many volunteers willing to help out. On COVID Mutual Aid's website you can search for groups locally. Many have Facebook pages providing further information.

Live Streams across the Diocese

The following parishes have indicated that they will be live streaming Masses during the closure of churches for acts of public worship. Please visit individual links for the latest news and confirmation of dates and times of these broadcasts.

Billingham, St. Thomas of CanterburyFacebook page, Mass usually at 12.00 noon, Exposistion at 1.00pm and Benediction at 2.00pm everyday.

Blaydon, St. Joseph's and Winlaton, St. Anne'sFacebook page, Mass daily at 10.00am (times differ during Holy Week; Monday to Wednesday – 10.00am, Thursday at 7.00pm, Friday at 3.00pm, Saturday at 6.00pm and Sunday at 10.00am).

Chester le Street, St. Cuthbert and Sacriston, St. Bede – a recording of daily Mass will be available to view via their Facebook Page.

Consett, St. Patrick's (Pontop Partnership) – Sunday Mass at 9.30am via Facebook page and YouTube channel. There will also be a daily Gospel reflection shared through the partnership Facebook page.

Cramlington, St. Paul's – are live streaming Masses through the Facebook Page. Masses will be celebrated every day at 10.00am including Sunday. They will also celebrate a Sunday Vigil mass on a Saturday evening at 6.00pm.

Crook, St. Cuthbert's – Mass daily at 10.00am via Facebook. Morning prayer streamed daily at 9:30am before mass.

Darlington, St. Augustine's – Sunday Mass at 9.15am via their Facebook page.

Gosforth, St. Charles – Mass daily at 9.30am and Vigil Mass on Saturday at 6.00pm via YouTube.

Hartlepool, Parish of the Holy Family – Mass at 10.00am on Sunday and 6.00pm on Wednesday via their Facebook page. Stations of the cross are streamed at 9:30am on Saturday.

Hexham, St. Mary's – are now broadcasting a high quality stream of Mass and other services live from. This can be accessed on via their parish website and their YouTube channel. Timings; Sunday Mass 10.00am, weekday Mass 6.00pm and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Sunday 4.00pm.

Newcastle, The Cathedral Church of St. Mary – the Cathedral will live stream Holy Mass each day Monday to Saturday at 12.00 noon and on a Sunday at 11.30am. Mass will still be offered for specific intentions. Please check the Partnership website for any further updates. The live stream of Mass can be found on the Cathedral's YouTube Channel. There will also be a live streaming of a time of quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and devotions from 5.00pm until 5.45pm.

North Shields, Parish of St. Cuthbert's and St. Joseph's – Sunday Mass at 11.00am via Facebook. Triduum Services being streamed include; Maundy Thursday 7.30pm, Good Friday 3.00pm, Saturday Easter Vigil 8.00pm and Easter Sunday Eucharist 11.00am.

Stockton Parish Family – are currently streaming Masses via their Facebook Page.

Sunderland, Our Lady of Mercy Parish – Masses are currently being shared through their own YouTube channel. You can also find details and information on their Facebook page.

Whitley Bay, Backworth and West Monkseaton, Parish of Our Lady Star of the SeaFacebook Page, Mass daily at 9.30am.

The Vicariate for Faith & Mission

Diocesan Spiritual Support:

Spiritual resources are available here (pdfword), including links to Masses being streamed live or available via social media in and beyond the Diocese, and prayer resources.

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.


Latest National News:

Papal Blessing, “God turns everything to our good”

On Friday 27 March 2020, 11 million people tuned in to be joined in universal communion with Pope Francis. In this unique act Pope Francis performed the extra–ordinary papal blessing “Urbi et orbi” granting a plenary indulgence to the faithful and reminding us all that Christ is our anchor and hope.

This beautiful, sacred and solemn moment in the midst of the pandemic can be seen here (courtesy of Vatican News Facebook Page):

You can read the full transcript of the blessing through Vatican News Website.

Cardinal Nichols on ‘Easter Duties’, Confession and the Forgiveness of Sins

As we approach our most important week of the year – Holy Week – the way we follow Christ – from his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, to the foot of the Cross, to an empty tomb – will be completely different this year.

Our Catholic churches would have been packed on Easter Sunday but in 2020 we won't be able to take communion and celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour under the church roof. This year we will follow Holy Week at home.

In preparation, many would have availed themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation – Confession – to prepare for a fresh start at Easter.

But what does it mean for our spiritual well–being and salvation if we can't fulfil our "Easter Duties"?

Many have asked, Cardinal Vincent Nichols answers in this video.

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.

Church Services TV stream live Masses from many locations across the UK and The Tablet has put together a useful summary of resources you can use.

Government Guidelines

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