Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Fr. David Jonathon Bowes – Ordination to the Priesthood.

The priestly ordination of Fr. David Jonathon Bowes took place on Saturday 3 October at St. Joseph's Church, Hartlepool with Bishop Robert Byrne CO as principal celebrant.

Ordination of Fr. David Jonathon Bowes

All images have been re–produced with the kind permission of Mike March.

For those who were unable to attend due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the video of the service can be viewed through the Holy Family Catholic Parish, Hartlepool YouTube channel or St. Mary's Church, Hartlepool Facebook Page.

An Ordination Booklet was produced to accompany the Mass.

New Vicariates

Over the coming weeks we shall be making some adjustments to our website menus to incorporate the new Vicariates that have been established and to allow for new content to be added as they evolve. The Vicariate for Caritas, which includes Justice & Peace, CAFOD and Tyne & Wear Citizens, is the first of these and is listed under the 'Vicariates and Teams' dropdown menu above and can also be viewed by clicking here.

COVID–19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic – Church Response

Pastoral Message from Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Bishop Robert Byrne CO has released a pastoral video message regarding the reopening of our churches and how we are managing this throughout the Diocese.

Bishop Robert Byrne CO has announced the phased reopening of churches for Mass and individual prayer

The following churches are open for Mass (M) and / or individual prayer (P). Please visit the links below to access more information.

Cathedral Church of St. Mary, Newcastle upon Tyne
(M & P) –

Alnwick, St. Paul's Church (M) – Link

Amble, Sacred Heart and St. Cuthbert (M) - 01665 710252

Annfield Plain, St. Teresa (M)Link

Annitsford, St. John the Baptist (M)Link

Ashington, St. Aidan (M) – Link

Barnard Castle, St. Mary (M)Link

Bedlington, St. Bede (M)Link

Benton, St. Aidan (M)Link

Berwick, St. Cuthbert (M) – 07979 735022 or email

Billingham, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary (M & P) – Link

Birtley, St. Joseph (M & P)Link

Bishop Auckland, St. Mary (P)Link

Blackhall, St. Joseph (M) – 07483 318764

Blackhill, Our Blessed Lady Immaculate (M)Link

Blaydon, St. Joseph (M)Link

Blyth, Our Lady and St. Wilfrid (M)Link

Boldon, The Sacred Heart (M)Link

Brooms, Our Lady & St. Joseph (M)Link

Chopwell, Our Lady of Lourdes (P)Link

Consett, St. Patrick (M & P) – Link

Coundon, St. Joseph (M)Link

Cowpen, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Coxhoe, Ss. Joseph, Patrick and Cuthbert (M & P)Email

Cramlington, St. Paul (M)Link

Crawcrook, St. Agnes (M & P)Link

Crook, Our Lady Immaculate & St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Cullercoats, St. Mary (M)Link

Darlington, St. Augustine (P)Link

Darlington, St. Thomas Aquinas (M & P)Link

Darlington, St. Teresa (M) – 07734 274559

Dipton, St. Patrick (M)Link

Durham, Our Lady of Mercy and St. Godric (M & P)Link

Durham, St. Cuthbert (M & P)Link

Durham, St. Joseph (M & P)Link

Esh Laude, St. Michael (M from 18 October)Link

Felling, St. Augustine (M)Link

Felling, St. Patrick (M)Link

Ferryhill, All Saints (M)Link

Forest Hall, St. Mary (M)Link

Gainford, St. Osmund (M & P)Link

Gateshead, Immaculate Heart of Mary (M & P)Link

Gateshead, St. Anne (M from 24 October)Link

Gateshead, St. Joseph (M)Link

Gateshead, St. Peter (M & P)Link

Hartlepool, St. Joseph (M) – Link

Hebburn, St. Aloysius (M)Link

Hebburn, St. James (M)Link

Hexham, St. Mary (M & P)Link

Houghton–le–Spring, St. Michael (M & P)Link

Jarrow, St. Bede (M)Link

Jarrow, St. Mary (M)Link

Jarrow, St. Matthew (M)Link

Lanchester, All Saints (M & P)Link

Langley Park, St. Joseph (M from 23 October)Link

Longhorsley, St. Thomas of Canterbury (M)
01670 788344

Minsteracres, St. Elizabeth (M)Link

Morpeth, St. Robert of Newminster (M)Link

Murton, St. Joseph (M)Link

New Seaham, St. Cuthbert (M) – 0191 581 2221

Newcastle, English Martyrs (M & P) Link

Newcastle, St. Andrew (M)Link

Newcastle, St. Anthony of Padua (M) - Link

Newcastle, St. Bede (P)Link

Newcastle, St. Charles’ Church (M & P) – Link

Newcastle, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Newcastle, St. Dominic's Church (M) – 0191 232 6953

Newcastle, St. John Vianney (M)Link

Newcastle, St. Mark (M) – 07803 504923

Newcastle, St. Robert (M & P) Link

Newcastle, St. Teresa (M & P)Link

Newcastle, The Holy Name (M)Link

Newhouse, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs (M)Link

Newton Aycliffe, St. Mary (M & P)Link

North Gosforth, Sacred Heart (M & P)Link

North Shields, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

North Shields, St. Joseph (M)Link

Peterlee, Our Lady of the Rosary (M) – 0191 586 2526

Ponteland, St. Matthew (M) – 07803 504923

Ryhope, St. Patrick (M)Link

Sacriston, St. Bede (M)Link

Shildon, St. Thomas Apostle (M)Link

Shotton, Our Lady of Lourdes (M)Link

South Shields, St. Bede (M)Link

South Shields, St. Gregory (M)Link

Stanley, St. Joseph (M)Link

Stella, Ss. Mary and Thomas Aquinas (M)Link

Stockton, English Martyrs, Ss. Peter & Paul (M & P)Link

Stockton, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Stockton, St. Patrick (M)Link

Sunderland, St. Anne and Holy Family (M)Link

Sunderland, Ss. Cecilia and Patrick (M) - Link

Sunderland, St. Hilda (M) – 07734 166965

Sunderland, St. Joseph (M)Link

Sunderland, St. Mary (M) – Link

Throckley, St. Cuthbert (M)Link

Tynemouth, Our Lady and St. Oswin (M)Link

Tudhoe, St. Charles (P)Link

Ushaw Moor, St. Joseph (M & P)Link

Wallsend, Our Lady and St. Columba (M)Link

Washington, St. John Boste (M & P)Link

Whitley Bay, St. Edward (M & P) - Link

Windlestone, The Sacred Heart (M)Link

Winlaton, St. Anne (M & P) – Link

Due to social distancing measures, there will be a limited capacity in each church. Should the maximum capacity of a church be met, a queueing system will be implemented outside of the Church.

Please note: live streaming may be in effect during Mass. If you do not wish to be at risk of being filmed, please inform your parish priest or designated person on visiting the church.

Important Notice:

Please click here to view the current list of churches that are planning to reopen shortly (updated 16 October).

Please click here to download our handbook for the reopening of churches.

Please click here to read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) guide.

Please click here for a Prayer Resources for those visiting our churches or those that remain at home.

‘Where the Hell is God?’

In these trying times, many people are led to ask the big questions of life. Where is God in the midst of Covid-19? Seeking God, questioning God are very natural responses to times of trial and grief and they are not new questions to the Catholic Church. In this Irish Jesuit's podcast, Fr. Richard Leonard shares his journey in asking ‘Where the Hell is God’ in the face of tragedy and he provides some solid advice on how to support others facing distress.

Watch this introduction by Fr. Sean Hall:

Do you need to speak to someone for support?

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.

Dedicated counsellors and listeners are also available at the Cathedral Listening Service on 0191 232 6953 and on the Northumberland Listening Service on 07732 980740.

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).

Vinnie's Cafe – St. Vincent de Paul Society:

Vinnie's Cafe offer help and support to people in need in Newcastle for St. Vincent De Paul Society. Their food bank supplies are currently running low. If anyone could help them with donations it would be very much appreciated. You can donate through their justgiving fundraiser or call them to arrange a suitable drop off for supplies by tel: 0191 261 6027 (option 1, Monday – Thursday).

Alternatively, you can send a bank payment to Nat West Bank, sort code: 60–60–04, account no. 46073051 and ref: SVP Newcastle. Thank you.

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:

Certificate in Pastoral Ministry:

The deadline to enrol on this course ends Monday 16 November 2020. To find out further details or to apply, please go to our courses page, email or telephone 0191 243 3316.

Youth Ministry Team Update July 2020:

Fr. Adrian Dixon's Reflection for Liturgical Readers:

Fr. Adrian Dixon has produced a short reflection for Ministers of the Word. Watch below or via our YouTube Channel.

A request from the Diocesan Church Music Association:

A call–out to all those who help in any way with liturgical music in their parish.

As the Coronavirus restrictions continue, particularly here in the North–East, the DCMA would love to know how parish musicians have been coping. Are you perhaps recording at home? Or maybe you are lucky enough to be back in church, and if so, what are you able to provide to enhance the Liturgy at this difficult time when there is still no congregational singing?

Please email us your comments.

We hope that this may lead to a potential Zoom meeting where we can share our ideas and support each other through this strangest of times.

Fr. Adrian Dixon's Reflection for Extraordinary Ministers:

Fr. Adrian Dixon has produced a short reflection for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion ahead of Corpus Christi; the usual time when ministers renew their commitment.

Fr. Sean Hall's Reflections on the Readings for Week 29 Ordinary Time can be read here.

Pat Kennedy MPS has shared a Reflection (‘The Bamboo Tree’), which you can read here.

Healthy Couple Relationships and support when they are not

All relationships have their ups and downs and sometimes a positive solution is hard to find. In these extraordinary days in which we experience lives of enforced isolation such difficulties may become enhanced and overriding. MarriageCare, a charity with which this Diocese collaborates on preparing engaged couples for marriage, provides a counselling service for couples or individuals experiencing difficulties in their relationship which one or both find challenging and problematic. You can access support through the MarriageCare website in the ‘How we help’ section, ‘Relationship counselling’. Full contact details are provided for further enquiries and venues, and include FAQ’s.

Domestic Abuse, Family Support and Support for Children in Domestic Abuse

MarriageCare also provides many useful links under the ‘How we help’ section; Relationship support organisations; Debt and Finance; Family support organisations; Domestic abuse – here there are many links under the ‘domestic violence help resources’ including support for women, men and children.

Life After the Pandemic - Pope Francis

The Vatican Publishing House has released a free eBook, “Life After the Pandemic”, a collection of interventions by Pope Francis, with a preface by Cardinal Michael Czerny, to reflect on the vision of the world that is emerging after the pandemic and to which we are called to accompany. It is now available to read or download.

Strong in the Face of Tribulation, The Church in Communion: A Sure Support in Time of Trial

The Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See have produced a book intended to be a little help offered to all, so as to know how to discern and experience God’s closeness and tenderness in pain, in suffering, in solitude and in fear. Of course, faith does not eliminate pain; ecclesial communion does not eliminate anguish. Rather, it does illuminate reality and reveal that it is pervaded by the love and hope based not on our abilities, but on the One Who is faithful and never abandons us.

It is divided into three sections; prayers, rituals and supplications for difficult moments.

It is available now to read or download.

Diocesan Spiritual Support

These resources have been created to support you and your loved ones in this unprecedented time of the COVID–19 pandemic. We offer these prayers in solidarity and we want you know know that the Church community is praying with you and you are not alone.

'Resources for times of grieving and death' includes; Prayers for loved ones we cannot visit in hospital, Prayers for someone who has recently died and Prayers for a loved one whose funeral you cannot attend.

'Prayers for the sick and dying' contains a collection of Catholic prayers to comfort you and your loved ones during difficult times of sickness and death.

Mgr. Andrew Faley, Vicariate for Faith & Mission (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.

Sacramental Preparation Courses

We would like to invite catechists to attend one of the online sessions at 7.00pm on Wednesday 21 October (Confirmations) and Thursday 22 October (First Holy Communions). New and experienced catechists are all welcome to come, share and find out more about sacramental preparation online.

See poster for details and to register to attend one of the meetings, please email us.

The Vicariate for Caritas and The Road Centre

Caritas, in partnership with The Road Centre, is offering a number of resources to help adults, young people, and children cope with stress and anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Resource for adults (pdf).
Resource for young people (pdf).
Resource for children (pdf).

Online Vocations Discernment Course

The Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle Priestly Vocations Team invite you to a six week online Vocations Discernment course for men thinking about becoming a Priest. Beginning Monday 12 October at 7.00pm.

For further information and to register an interest please email us.

See poster for full details.

Are you thinking about becoming a Catholic?

Registration remains open for new enquirers wishing to join the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) programme 2020–21.

To register or for more information, please email us.

Please see the poster for further details.

Vicariate for Faith & Mission

The Vicariate for Faith & Mission are able to provide copies of our lockdown prayer resources to those without internet access. Please contact the Vicariate by ringing 07375 934713 or click on the poster for alternative contact details. Please pass this information onto those without internet access.

Mass by Phone Service

During these times when our churches are closed and masses are being streamed online, the Diocese of Middlesbrough have set up a system to allow people who do not have internet access to listen to Mass over the telephone.

If you would like to access, the telephone number to call is 01642 130120.

If you know anyone who may benefit from this service, you can download and print a poster with details.

Statements from Pope Francis, Bishop Robert Byrne and the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales condemn the death of George Floyd

In times of an international crisis such as this, the Bishop and the Diocese maintain communion with Pope Francis and the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to condemn the death of George Floyd. Read our statement in full (pdfword).

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 Alert | Control the Virus | 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.

Diocesan Events:

See also full screen calendar

Diocesan Vision

Read the new Diocesan Vision.

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

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

Last updated on 19/10/20

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