Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

COVID–19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic – Church Response

Bishop Robert's Pastoral Letter for Holy Week 2020

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

I especially wanted to write to you as we begin Holy Week facing the threat of the Covid–19 pandemic. I want to assure you that all the clergy and faithful are uppermost in my thoughts and prayers…

Read the Pastoral Letter for Holy Week 2020.

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.

Pope Francis' sends video message for Holy Week

Pope Francis sends this video message to Christians around the world as we prepare to celebrate Holy Week in an unusual manner due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. He prays especially for those suffering and for all the families whose lives have been upset in this difficult time.

Watch the video below:

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

Cardinal Nichols has shared his thoughts on what it means for our spiritual well-being and salvation if we can't fulfil our "Easter Duties"?

Watch the video below:

Do you need to speak to a Priest?

For those who are seeking a Priest with whom they can speak at this time, could you please contact the Parish Priest at your local Church. You can find your local Church telephone number by visiting our Church directory and selecting the link for your church. This link will display the Church contact details.

Vicariate for Caritas, Diocesan Pastoral Support and Outreach:

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell, Episcopal Vicar for Caritas provides a helpful summary of Pastoral Support available around the Diocese here (pdfword).

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 to see how you can help.

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell (email:

Vicariate for Faith & Mission:

Holy Week at Home

As we approach Holy Week 2020 we would like you to know that even though we are separated we are still in communion with one another. We have produced a free resource to help you and your families experience and celebrate Holy Week.

If you would like to have free access to this resource please follow the link:

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.

Mgr. Andrew Faley (email:

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.

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.

The Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary

Behold 2020 - the Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary took place on Sunday 29 March.

The following video has been produced by Behold 2020 to mark this occasion.

New Names for Catholic Education Trusts

In December 2019 the Diocesan Board agreed a revised academy policy in which they identified four Multi Academy Trusts in the Diocese that would grow. These were Sacred Heart Partnership of Schools, Northern Saints Catholic Education Trust, The Trinity Catholic Multi Academy Trust, and Carmel Education Trust.

On 1 April 2020 the four Trusts were re–named as follows:

Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust (formerly Sacred Heart Partnership of Schools)

Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust (formerly Northern Saints Catholic Education Trust)

Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust (formerly The Trinity Catholic Multi Academy Trust)

Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust (formerly Carmel Education Trust)

Live Streaming of Masses

A number of parishes have set up a live stream of their Masses.

For more details of frequency and timings please click here.

Government Coronavirus Guidelines

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

NHS website

Government website

Stay at Home | Protect the NHS | Save Lives

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.

Coronavirus (COVID–19)

For further information and how we are responding to the Coronavirus pandemic please click here.

Click here to find out more about The God Who Speaks – The Year of the Word.

St. Mary's Cathedral


Diocesan Events:

See also full screen calendar

Diocesan Vision

Read the new Diocesan Vision.

Pastoral Letter

Pastoral Letter - Holy Week 2020.

Diocesan E-Newsletter

Read latest newsletter and subscribe


Posters for events in the Diocese.

Local events.

Posters for non-Diocesan events.

St Hilda's Diocesan Resource Centre

Northern Cross

DUE to the COVID–19 pandemic, April's edition of Northern Cross is only available online this month.

You can read it, free of charge, by visiting the Northern Cross website.

The April edition of Northern Cross is out. Read Page 1.


There are no Diocesan vacancies at this time.

Last updated on 8/04/20

Patrons of the Diocese: St Cuthbert, Bishop and Confessor and Our Blessed Lady Immaculate