Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

The God Who Speaks –
A Year of the Word

The God Who Speaks – a Year of the Word.

The Bishops of England and Wales have called for a Year of the Word under the title, ‘The God Who Speaks’. God has spoken to human beings since the dawn of creation, but very few have listened as intently as they might! This Year will offer a wealth of ideas, resources and experiences for us to deepen (or create) our relationship with the God who speaks to us through the Bible.


To mark the 1st Sunday of Lent, Bishop Robert shared a new Pastoral Letter to share his thoughts on how we can all “open ourselves to the riches of the scriptures”. He also highlights just some of the activities that are happening throughout our Diocese and nationally. Details of all these events can been seen on the accompanying events sheet.


As Bishop Robert says in his Pastoral Letter from September 2019,

“It was the great biblical scholar, St. Jerome, who said that “ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ”. The scriptures are a deep well which never runs dry; if we take time to engage with the word of the Lord prayerfully then it will refresh and energise us in God’s service.”


The Year is ‘soft–launched’ on 30 September, the feast of St. Jerome who first translated the Hebrew, Greek and Old Latin scriptures into the language of the ordinary folk, a version known as the Vulgate.

The Year then begins in earnest on the First Sunday of Advent with plans being made for celebrations of Vespers in churches around the Diocese.

A wealth of information is already available through The God Who Speaks website.

Booklets will be appearing in parishes soon and there will be more events, ideas and resources to come on these pages!

Film: The Incredulity of Saint Thomas

Cardinal Vincent Nichols offers his reflections on this painting by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano titled 'The Incredulity of Saint Thomas'.

Read more on the The God Who Speaks website.

Cardinal Nichols interview for the Bible Society

Scripture is at the centre of everything the Church does. The word of God shapes our prayer and worship. The Bible shows us how to understand the world, how we are called to live and relate to each other.

In partnership with Bible Society, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has dedicated 2020 as The Year of the Word: ‘The God Who Speaks’. Here Cardinal Vincent Nichols speaks to us from our first big event of the year, in Westminster Cathedral.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols launches ‘The God who Speaks’:

The Catholic Church and the Bible Society have teamed up to encourage a Scripture revolution in the Church in England and Wales. In 2020 the focus falls on the Bible as we have a Year of the Word through the initiative 'The God Who Speaks'. To launch the project Cardinal Vincent Nichols offers his reflections on Italian Renaissance artist Masaccio's painting 'Saints Jerome and John the Baptist' hanging in the National Gallery in London.

Read more on the The God Who Speaks website.

Pope Francis announces a ‘Sunday of the Word of God

Pope Francis has instituted a day dedicated to celebrating the Word of God.

In a Motu Proprio – a personal decree of the Pope – titled ‘Aperuit illis’, Pope Francis has declared the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time the ‘Sunday of the Word of God’.

This will typically take place in late January.

Read more about this announcement through the Bishops’ Conference website where you can also read or download a copy of Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio. The document can be found on our ‘God Who SpeaksResources page.