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.