On 22 October 2021, Bishop Robert Byrne wrote to all the people of the Vicariate of Northumberland in a letter red out in all Northumberland Churches, informing them of local changes following recent discussions between clergy and Lay Chairs of the Partnerships.
The Parish of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart at Amble has now been moved into the Lindisfarne Partnership and Sacred Heart at North Gosforth had already moved back into one of the Newcastle Partnerships.
The Partnerships of Brinkburn and Seaton Delaval have merged and are now one new Partnership named St Benet Biscop Partnership. The Dean is Father Peter Stott of St Robert’s, Morpeth. Michael Quincey was elected as the Partnership Chair.
This new Partnership now comprises the Parishes of Annitsford, Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, Cramlington, Longhorsley, New Hartley and Morpeth.
The Clergy and Lay reps of the new partnership met on Wednesday 1 December. One of their first tasks was to suggest a new name for the Partnership. After some discussion, it was decided that the name of St Benet Biscop Partnership would be a good choice.
It seems appropriate that the south Northumberland area group of parishes now have the patronage of man who was born in Northumbria, who was associated with King Oswy and mixed in Northumbrian royal circles. St Benet Biscop eventually renounced his worldly goods and choose monasticism under the Benedictine rule. As many of our parishes are actually foundations of Benedictine communities and that Benedictine monks ran most of these parishes for many years, it is good for us to be now known as the St Benet Biscop Partnership.
Our local Catholic Academy in Bedlington also bears the same name and reminds us of the close links with St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy, as all the parishes are feeder parishes for that school.
On 12 January 2022, the Partnership will celebrate Mass at St Bede’s Church, Bedlington to celebrate the Feast of St Benet Biscop.