Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Justice and PeaceJustice and Peace Team

Head of Justice and Peace: Fr. Chris Hughes
St. Joseph, Wallsend Road, Chirton, North Shields NE29 7AA

tel: 0191 257 5801 or email:

Phil Watson, Chair of the Justice and Peace Co–ordinating Council. Email:

The Diocesan Justice and Peace Co–ordinating Council is elected at the AGM each year from people active in Justice and Peace work across the Diocese. For news of the AGM on Saturday 24 October please click here.

We exist to encourage commitment to action for Justice and Peace in light of the Gospel message and teaching of the Catholic Church. Our main objective is to foster the growth of this work within parishes and partnerships and to encourage the use of the four stages of the Pastoral Cycle i.e. Study/Experience, Analysis, Prayer/Spiritual Reflection and Action.

Please contact us if you require help.


J & P Donations Gift Aid Contact and Treasurer: Marjory Knowles tel: 07929 343418 or by email:

NB. If you would like to set-up a regular donation, please download, complete and return the forms at the base of this page.

Download the latest edition of the Diocesan Justice & Peace Newsletter (Winter 2020).

Diocesan Refugee Project:

Christmas Closure Notice:

Please note that the Refugee Project will be closed over the Christmas period, from Friday 18 December 2020 until Monday 4 January 2021. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Please click on the image for further details.

Refugee Project Update:

The Refugee Project has started its phased re–opening to Refugees and Asylum Seekers from our new premises at St Vincent’s Support Centre, New Bridge Street, Newcastle NE1 2TQ and we have already supported well over 100 families with food and supermarket vouchers. Thanks to the generosity of individuals, parishes and other organisations we have been able to offer an extra £5 supermarket voucher to clients over the Christmas period.

We are now in a position to accept food donations once more; please deliver these to the centre on Mondays between 10.30am and 1.30pm, if at all possible. To arrange deliveries outside of these times please contact Sara to discuss. The centre re–opens for deliveries on Monday 4 January 2021.

It has been a particularly difficult year for the Refugees and Asylum Seekers in our local community, so please continue to support the project financially if at all possible, people have been incredibly generous despite the problems we are facing. Thank you.

Details of the destitute asylum fund account are – HSBC DHN DESTITUTE ASYLUM FUND sort code 40–34–18, account number 52854058. Contributions by direct transfer would be most welcome, but cheques made payable to D.H&N DESTITUTE ASYLUM FUND can also be sent to Sara Harris, Justice and Peace Refugee Project Co-ordinator, St. Vincent’s Support Centre, Newbridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2TQ.

Thank you for your continued support for the Refugee Project. For more details about our work and how you can support it, please contact Sara Harris by email: or tel: 07407 091184.



Project Co–ordinator: Sara Harris email: or tel: 07407 091184


Project Contact: Rachel Wing tel: 01642 883 369

Quick links:

Click on the following quick links to jump to the section detailed.

(incl. news of latest campaigns)

(how you can donate to our refugee project)


(incl. National Justice and Peace website and Housing Justice website)


Social and Environmental Justice Policy

(incl. Catholic Social Teaching and CST Newsletter)


Listening Campaign

The Diocese is a strategic partner of Tyne and Wear Citizens (TWC), which seeks to support the common good and develop civic society and its members. TWC operates on a cycle of listening action and evaluation. Since its launch in 2017, TWC had completed one of these cycles that lead to the establishment of three campaigns: on improving mental health services, fighting food poverty, especially for school children and combating hate crime. All of these campaigns had a number of successes. It was felt by the end of 2019 the time was right to start a fresh cycle with 2020 being a year for listening.

The initial launch was in December of last year at the AGM, but our world is very different now due to the impact of the pandemic on our lives and our economy. Due to these dramatic changes on June 24th TWC had a relaunch of the listening campaign.

The full relaunch meeting summary is available now to read or download (pdfword).


Events will feature here when announced.


BBC Radio Newcastle – Interview with Jeremy Cain

On Sunday 22 November 2020, BBC Radio Newcastle aired an interview with Jeremy who discussed the plight of asylum seekers many of them users of our Refugee Project. You can listen to his interview here (start at 1 hour 42 minutes and 30 seconds in).

Justice and Peace AGM

About 30 people joined the Justice and Peace Co-ordinating Council AGM by Zoom on Saturday 24 October. There was a short business meeting with reports from the outgoing chair, Veronica Whitty, an end of year financial statement and a report from the steering group of the Justice and Peace Refugee Project. We were very encouraged by Bishop Robert Byrne’s message to our attendees and his thanks for the witness that we give in the Diocese.

He writes that,

As Christians our desire to see a world in which justice and peace prevail is not merely a political slogan, but a way in which we witness to our faith. For us, justice is found in our search for the truth which is ultimately found in God and peace is the gift which springs from our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is why justice and peace are at the heart of the gospel message which liberates humanity. At the same time, we know that the task we set ourselves is one which many do not wish to hear. However, our faith teaches us that we must win hearts and minds if our message is to be heard and this can be a slow process. We must never lose heart.

We were then joined by James Buchanan of Operation Noah, a Christian charity working with the Church to inspire action on climate change. James talked to us on the theme of “Responding to the Climate/Environmental Crisis”.

Fr. Adrian Tuckwell then gave us an overview of the establishment of Caritas within the diocese and Fr Chris Hughes updated us about the work of Tyne and Wear Citizens.

Finally, Lya Vollering of the Eco Community at Minsteracres described the work and hopes of the eco community and then led us in closing meditations and prayer.

A report of the meeting and links to the reports presented can be accessed here (pdfdoc).

Tyne and Wear Citizens.

For all the latest news and details of upcoming events please take a look at our Tyne and Wear Citizens page.

A Diocesan Social and Environmental Justice policy has been approved by the Diocesan Board. For more information and the policy document, please visit the policy section.

Laudato Si’: The American Bishops have issued a good discussion guide on the document

Social and Environmental Justice Policy:

Hearing the Cry of the Poor and the Earth:

The Diocesan Board of Directors approved a policy for Social and Envionmental Justice within the Diocese.

The policy was drafted by the Diocesan Justice and Peace Co-ordinating Council with valuable advice from the staff at the Centre for Catholic Studies and Salford Caritas. This policy is a response to Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ with his call for an ‘Integral Ecology’, where in seeking the Common Good for the whole of God's creation, Pope Francis challenges us to hear and respond both to the cries of the earth and the poor. The policy, called ‘Hearing the Cry of the Poor and the Earth’, outlines activites we can undertake as part of our communal response in parishes. The policy also highlights our own personal responsibilities in sustaining the Common Good, the dignity of the human person and what Pope Francis states in his undertanding of the earth's ecology, ‘Our Common Home’.

The policy is also available to view online with images or download to print as a booklet.

Please contact the Justice and Peace Co–ordinating Council if you have any queries about this.


Catholic Social Teaching:

The purpose of the recently formed Northern Catholic Social Teaching (CST) Study Group is to learn what the Church has to say about our world and how we live together. Catholic Social Teaching addresses the big issues confronting us – work, the environment, family life, poverty, justice - and in the words of Pope John Paul II, provides us with,

a basis and motivation for action”.

The Group studies CST using the Virtual Plater CST Gateway. Although it is a study group, the emphasis is on the practical application of CST.

To join the Group or to find out more, contact Louise Harrison on 07532 309745.

Catholic Social Teaching monthly newsletter:

Catholic Social Teaching have their own monthly newsletter bringing a variety of information from its members of how CST has helped them and examples of CST in action around the Diocese. You can read or download the latest issue (February 2021) here (pdfword).


Donations for the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle Justice and Peace Refugee Project and Destitute Asylum Fund are most welcome. Regular donations by standing order can be made by completing the mandate and returning it to you bank.

Taxpayers can also complete the gift aid declaration and return to our treasurer, Marjory Knowles tel: 07929 343418 or by email:

Many thanks for all your help, prayers and support.


Justice and Peace National Site: external link

Housing Justice Site: