Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Diocesan Church Music Association

The DCMA is the music committee of the Diocesan Liturgy Department. As such, its aims are to develop the skills of parish musicians and foster the best practice and highest standards of music in the liturgy of the churches and schools of the Diocese.

How can we help?

We can:

  • Signpost and provide suitable resources to enhance the quality of liturgical music;

  • Upskill parish musicians by leading cantor workshops;

  • Organise singing days and workshops focusing on particular aspects of music, or seasons of the church’s year;

  • Help support partnerships if they wish to learn some core repertoire, e.g. Mass settings;

  • Offer leadership support to musicians at deanery days of reflection;

  • Support schools by holding music workshops for pupils and music leaders;

  • Organise composers’ days to give a voice to the composers of our diocese who wish to share new material.

  • Offer advice on copyright issues.

Do you have any special requests for workshops and/or locations? For example, we are considering a ‘have a go at the organ’ day, would this be of interest to you, perhaps?

Are there any budding keyboard players out there who would like to develop their skills?

Join our Mailing List:

The most regular bit of feedback we get after any event is "we wish we'd known about that!". So do let us have your contact details, and we'll keep you in the loop about upcoming events and matters of interest to musicians within the Diocese. Any information you can give us on the contact form about yourself and the music in your parish will help us to plan events; it will also help the sharing of resources and ideas across our parishes. Complete and submit the form here.

Contact Us:

If you'd like to contact us directly with questions or suggestions, email us or call Alison McLean (chair) tel: 0191 371 9184 or Frances Simmons (Secretary) tel: 01325 308045.

We organise workshops on all aspects of liturgical music. See our gallery of previous events and follow us on our Facebook page for details of forthcoming activities.

Upcoming events

Music – Word – Prayer

In an exciting joint venture between the Diocesan Church Music Association, the Departments of Spirituality and Liturgy and Minsteracres Retreat Centre we invite you to a weekend of ‘Music – Word – Prayer’.

The weekend on 15/16 November will be led by the internationally renowned liturgist and composer Paul Inwood and is linked to the ‘The God Who Speaks – The Year of the Word’ announced by the Bishops of England and Wales.

The Friday evening will provide some ‘time-out’ for liturgical musicians and is an opportunity for them to reflect on their ministry in the same way as readers and Eucharistic ministers do annually.

Saturday will be more practical and will focus on singing the Word. It is open to anyone with an interest in liturgical music and will be an excellent opportunity to learn new music that can then be used in the parish. Paul will explore ways of connecting scripture to music in the liturgy, examining suitable repertoire as well as bringing the Psalms to life with music.

The cost for Saturday includes lunch as we realise that people will want to discuss ideas and experiences with each other and we felt that this would be the opportune time.

The DCMA would encourage people to attend both days and it would be wonderful if every Partnership could send at least one person for the full weekend.

See the poster for more details or visit the Minsteracres website where you can also book. Perhaps your partnership or parish would be willing to contribute to the costs of their musicians attending. Many parishes already meet the costs of Eucharistic ministers and readers attending days of recollection and this weekend is sure to provide a practical benefit for the whole community as well as the individual attendees.

For information and bookings visit, call 01434 673248,
or email:

Minsteracres Retreat Centre, near Consett, County Durham, DH8 9RT.

Gallery of past events

Please visit our gallery of past events to find out more about what we do.

Archived resources

Visit our archived resources page to view a selection of music or hymm recommendations.