Bishop Emeritus Robert Byrne CO

On Monday 4 February 2019, Pope Francis announced that Bishop Byrne would serve as the fourteenth Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle succeeding the Rt. Rev. Séamus Cunningham.

His Episcopal Installation was celebrated by the Most Rev. Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool on Monday 25 March 2019, the Feast of the Annunciation, at the Cathedral Church of St. Mary’s in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Born in Manchester in September 1956, Bishop Byrne entered Birmingham Oratory in 1980 and was ordained to the priesthood in January 1985.

In 1990, he was part of a group from Birmingham who moved to St. Aloysius parish, Oxford, to found what was to become the Oxford Oratory in 1993. He served as Provost from 1993-2011.

In 2012, Bishop Byrne was appointed Secretary to the Bishops’ Conference Department of Dialogue and Unity having served as a prison chaplain for over 35 years.

Bishop Byrne was Ordained an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Birmingham in St. Chad’s Cathedral on Tuesday 13 May 2014.

The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, OP was appointed Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese by Pope Francis on Monday 12 December 2022 following Bishop Byrne’s resignation.

The Installation of Bishop Robert Byrne CO

On Monday 25 March 2019, the Feast of the Annunciation, at the Cathedral Church of St. Mary’s in Newcastle upon Tyne, Bishop Robert Byrne, CO, was installed as the fourteenth Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. His Episcopal Installation was led by the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, Metropolitan Archbishop of Liverpool.

The celebration began with the reading of a letter from Pope Francis and the ceremonial handing over of the Crozier by the retiring Bishop, Séamus Cunningham.

Episcopal Installation of Bishop Robert Byrne

The celebration was attended by the family and friends of Bishop Robert and many clergy, including Cardinal Vincent Nicholls, His Excellency Edward Joseph Adams, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, 36 Archbishops and Bishops, 209 clergy (priests and deacons) from our Diocese and other Dioceses and seven Seminarians. They were joined by the Diocesan Board of Trustees, the Curia, Religious, Vocations Enquirers, Ecumenical, Inter-faith and many civic dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Susan Winfield OBE and the Mayors of Darlington, Hartlepool and Newcastle.

The Mass was followed by a reception at the Assembly Rooms in Newcastle.

Bishop’s Letter to the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.

The following letter was read in St Mary’s Cathedral on 12 December 2022 to announce Bishop Robert’s resignation:

Click here to read or download.