Vicariate for Faith & Mission Update (May 2024)

May 1 2024

Update from the Vicariate

How are we to be together as Church?

When Jesus gathered his first disciples he deliberately chose people that were different to one another. None of the disciples were without fault and they all had much to learn. Jesus walked with them, teaching through word and deed how they should be. The global Church is undertaking a universal synod – a process of listening, we are invited to take part by looking at our own lives, our circles of influence in our communities and to consider the health of these relationships. As the Church continues in its synodal path, we are invited to explore how we navigate our differences to find unity in our diversity and to hear the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

As a Diocese we are invited to continue on the journey of considering the needs of our community, to think about how we serve one another and to pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom in this time and place. The Synod on Synodality is a call to grow as a synodal Church not simply through to 2024 when this particular synod will finish but to think about how the Church shifts into being one that listens first, that seeks to understand Christ present in the assembly of his people as we all search for a greater depth to living our shared vocation to holiness.

If you would like to be more involved in synodal conversations there are opportunities to come together from across the Diocese to practice the art of spiritual conversation. Please see the ‘Synodality‘ section below.

We are pleased to announce two faith events coming up at Ushaw. Sung Vespers (Evening Prayer) on Sunday 5 May and Corpus Christi: Eucharistic Procession with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday 2 June. Please see the ‘Faith Events at Ushaw‘ below.

In other news, Deacon Alison Rebello has been asked to co-ordinate our Diocesan attendance at Adoremus at Oscott, the National Faith event celebrating the Eucharist. It is hoped that the Diocese can send a coach of people to this event and if you would like to be a part of this celebration, please see contact details below.

We are also making preparations for the Year of Jubilee which will begin at Advent 2024, if you are wanting to be involved in Diocesan events or you would like to consider how this can be celebrated locally, please register your interest by email:

I would also like to draw your attention to a new event which is taking place monthly in Washington Village. I attended this event last month and it had a feel of a ‘Source Event’ (which takes place in St Mary’s Cathedral for our young people organised by YMT) but for adults, particularly families. It is entitled ‘New Song’ and the details are below:

New Song / Sunday 12 May 2024 from 4.00pm at Our Blessed Lady Immaculate Church, Washington Village.

For I am about to do something new

A new monthly prayer event aimed at providing a space for prayer, inspiration and connection.

We would love to welcome you to join us as we explore how the virtues of faith, hope and love can help us to live life to the full!’

Facebook page: New Song NE
Instagram: @newsongne

Amy Cameron, Co-ordinator for the Vicariate for Faith & Mission.

Year of Prayer 2024

In preparation for the 2025 Jubilee Year ‘Pilgrims of Hope’, 2024 has been designated a Year of Prayer by Pope Francis.

A Prayer for Our Lady

Mary, Virgin and Mother,
you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,
welcomed the word of life
in the depths of your humble faith:
as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,
help us to say our own “yes”
to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,
to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

Source: Taken from Evangelii Gaudium

A Prayer for the First World’s Children Day 25 – 26 May 2024

Come, Holy Spirit,
show us your beauty,
reflected in the faces
of children all over the world.
Come, Jesus,
you who make all things new,
who are the way that leads us to the Father,
come and remain with us always.

Source: The Holy See (

A Prayer for Pentecost

Breath of God,
Spirit who appeared like a driving wind,
blow away our prejudice
and teach us to value all people.

Spirit of God,
who appeared like tongues of flame,
burn in us as a passion for justice
and a commitment to change.

Spirit of life,
who caused the disciples to speak in tongues,
speak through us,
and fill us with the courage to proclaim your love.

Spirit of truth,
who fills us with wonder and awe,
inspire us to work for a better world
and a future where injustice is swept away.


Prayer: Catherine Gorman/CAFOD

Please visit our Diocesan Year of Prayer webpage for more information and regular updates.

We Dare to Say: A resource for faith-sharing groups on the Lord’s Prayer

We Dare To Say is a resource for small group faith-sharing and for individual meditation, featuring five sessions each based on a line from the Lord’s Prayer. Each session includes scripture, prayers and a reflection with questions. The connection of the Our Father with the sacraments and the devotional life is explored, and wisdom from the saints is offered for the spiritual growth of group participants and individuals alike.

‘­This single short prayer of Christ has everything that needs to be said about God, his kingdom, his life, about all of us’ – Fr Alexander Schmemann.

You can access the ‘We Dare to Say‘ resource by clicking here.

Deliver Us From Evil

A set of useful prayers and supplications, humble requests for the Lord’s help, that can be used by Catholics in times of fear, distress and temptation.

The Catholic Truth Society (CTS) has published a new booklet by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales offering a treasury of prayers drawn from Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition that can be used by Catholics to protect themselves from the powers of darkness.

Discover the new booklet here.


The Joy of the Gospel

A Church which “goes forth” is a Church whose doors are open… At times we have to be like the father of the prodigal son, who always keeps his door open so that when the son returns, he can readily pass through it.” [EG 46]

Evangelii Gaudium, the Joy of the Gospel, looks at the new evangelisation for the transmission of the faith and has chapters on the following subjects:

  • The Church’s Missionary Transformation
  • The Crisis of Communal Commitment
  • The Proclamation of the Gospel
  • The Social Dimension of Evangelization
  • Spirit-Filled Evangelizers

The full text of Evangelii Gaudium can be downloaded here.

Quick Link: Sharing the Faith.

St Bede, Priest and Doctor of the Church, 673 – 735

Feast Day – May 25

Born at Wearmouth in 673, Bede was educated at the monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow, where he was professed by St Benet Biscop and later ordained by St John of Beverley. He remained there as a monk for the rest of his life. He was the first historian of the English church and people, a master of the Scriptures and of the teaching of the Fathers. Known for his delight in learning, teaching and writing, he is venerated as the ‘light of the Church’ in the period sometimes known as the Dark Ages, and as a forerunner of the 8th and 9th century renaissance of the Western Church. Bede died at Jarrow on this day in 735. (DHN Ordo 2024).

Prayer to St Bede the Venerable

O God, who bring light to your Church
through the learning of the Priest Saint Bede,
mercifully grant that your servants
may always be enlightened by his wisdom and helped by his merits.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

(Source: Collect as taken from the Proper of Saints, Weekday Missal)


Finchale Partnership: Synod Meetings 2024

The Synod on Synodality met at an Assembly in Rome in October 2023 and produced a synthesis report. They requested further discussion throughout the church to be brought together before the next Assembly in Rome in 2024. In the Finchale Partnership, we held three meetings to discuss Formation, Ministry & Structures and Decision Making.

Read the full report here.

Workshop on Synodality

On Saturday 8 June, Ushaw will be holding a day workshop on what the Synod on Synodality means for us. There will be sessions on the current stage of the worldwide Synod, including an opportunity to look at some of the outputs of last October’s General Assembly in Rome. The workshop will also look at some practical examples of synodality in our local parishes and church groups.

The workshop costs £10. The day starts with welcome and refreshments at 10.30am, and will finish by 4.00pm. Bring a packed lunch, or you will be able to buy lunch in Ushaw’s café. You can book for the workshop on Ushaw’s website at:

For those who are new to synodality and would like to find out more about what the Synod is, and why it is important for our local church, there will be an optional introductory session starting at 9.30am. View the event listing here.

Faith Events at Ushaw

Sung Vespers (Evening Prayer)

On Sunday 5 May at 4.00pm, please join us for Sung Vespers in St Cuthbert’s Chapel at Ushaw. Please note that this is not a concert performance, but an opportunity to pray together the Evening Prayer of the Church for the Sixth Sunday of Easter.

As the format of this service may be new to some people, we will also be offering some reflections on praying Vespers as a group.

All are welcome to join us for the service. No ticket is required. View the event listing here.

Corpus Christi: Eucharistic Procession with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

On Sunday 2 June, Ushaw will be hosting a Eucharistic Procession with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, led by Bishop Stephen Wright, and starting at 3.00pm in St Cuthbert’s Chapel. Weather permitting, the procession will go through Ushaw’s gardens, returning to the Chapel for Benediction.

Teas and coffees will be available after the service.

You do not need a ticket for this event, but please sign up at: to help Ushaw to estimate numbers. If you are signing up on behalf of a parish group, please indicate how many cars are likely to be coming to Ushaw, or if the group will be arriving by coach: this will help Ushaw to manage car parking requirements. View the event listing here.


Adoremus at Oscott – a national faith event.

A National Eucharistic Congress is planned for Saturday 14 September 2024 at Oscott, Birmingham. Oscott is significant as it was the place where the first Eucharistic procession took place after the restoration of the Church in Britain.

To register your interest in attending this event please email:

Liturgy Courses and Events

Liturgical formation courses will be advertised on the Diocesan website as soon as they are confirmed. Please visit our webpage for the latest information

Holy Hour

The Association of the Eucharist will be holding their Holy Hour on Sunday 5 May at St Andrew’s Church, 9 Worswick Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6UW from 2.30pm to 3.30pm, followed by refreshments. Everyone is welcome to join.

The Eucharist: A Gift to be Nurtured

As part of our aim to promote growth and knowledge of the Eucharist, the Association of the Eucharist offer The Eucharist: A Gift to be Nurtured, which gives us words from Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis to guide time before the Blessed Sacrament. This resource can be used by both individuals and groups.

Weekend Liturgy Resources

Suggested Prayers of the Faithful (bidding prayers) and Reflections will be updated each week.

Other resources include suggested music, Children’s Liturgy of the Word and Cycle of Prayer.

Resources and signposts to the coming weekend’s liturgy resources, kindly provided by people within our Diocese, will be available to view and access on the Diocesan website every Thursday for the following weekend’s liturgy.

Click here to enlarge image.

Visit our Weekend Liturgy section here.

Dialogue & Unity

Christian & Muslim Prayer Event

The Interreligious Relations team welcomes all women and young children to their annual prayers for peace event, which takes place on Saturday 8 June at 2.30pm. This event will take place in the historic Lady Chapel which is situated in Jesmond Dene and this beautiful service provides the opportunity for women and young children from all faiths and none to pray for peace. Following on from last year’s event, men are invited to attend when accompanying their family members. Catholics and Muslims have a shared devotion to Our Blessed Lady, and this is reflected in the choice of prayers and readings from the Quran and the Bible.

Refreshments are served afterwards in The Holy Name Church Hall, which is situated on North Jesmond Road, Newcastle NE2 3JX.

Faith and Fellowship’ Evening

The Interreligious Team will be holding an evening of ‘Faith and Fellowship‘ in support of the Year of Prayer in preparation for the Jubilee Year in 2025. This event will take place on Wednesday 25 September 2024, at 7.00pm. This event will take place at English Martyrs Hall, Stamfordham Road, Newcastle. More details to follow.

Quick Link: Dialogue & Unity

Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion (CDSC)

Life in the Spirit Seminars

Life in the Spirit seminars are now underway at St Mary’s Church Hall, Sunderland, and we are pleased to see so many taking advantage of this opportunity to re-affirm the fundamentals of our faith; that we are loved, saved and redeemed and to let go of any obstacles to receiving all that God, through the Holy Spirit, wishes to give.

Please pray for all who experienced Baptism in the Holy Spirit on 20 March and all who attend the concluding talk by Bishop Stephen Wright (8 May) on ‘Transformation in Christ’.

Mass for Pentecost

We will be hosting a Mass for Pentecost at St Mary’s Cathedral again at 1.00pm on Saturday 11 May 2024 on the theme of “Renewed in the Holy Spirit”. Pope Francis, in a recent address, emphasized that CHARIS’ role is to point all communities of the Charismatic Renewal, which he called a “current of grace” to “communion on the path ahead.” The annual Mass for Pentecost is proving to be a blessed opportunity for sisters and brothers in Renewal to come together in communion on the path ahead for us in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle. Further details can be found on our website here.

News from the Emmanuel community

On 8 June, from 10.00am at St Mary’s School, Newcastle, the Emmanuel community will be meeting to reflect on the input of their previous speakers, Fr Chris Thomas and David Wells.  All are welcome.

The Emmanuel community will be hosting Michelle Moran again from 10.00am at St Mary’s School, Newcastle on Saturday 12 October 2024.

John Wheeler, Co-ordinator Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Service of Communion.


Quick Link: CHARIS

Diocesan Church Music Association

Quick Link: DCMA

Marriage & Family Life

Marriage Preparation Days


Saturday 18 May: St Robert of Newminster, Morpeth NE61 1QF.
Saturday 21 September: St Robert of Newminster, Morpeth NE61 1QF.
Saturday 9 November: St Mary’s, Bishop Auckland DL14 6PQ.

(Other dates and venues will be notified to each Parish Priest and Deacon as arranged.)

Engaged couples can find more information at

To find and book on a course, please visit: or call the booking service: 0800 389 3801 (NB. In person and online courses are available).

Fees payable to MarriageCare are given on the website and will cover the costs of the resources and materials that will be provided on the day for each couple; they also include an element of cost towards the counselling arm of MarriageCare, an important facility very well called upon in present society. At the end of the day of attendance, couples will be provided with details to go online to MarriageCare to print their certificates, one of which should be handed to the Parish Priest and the other retained.

Priests, Deacons and lay people may email: for further information or Deacon Rob Wareing directly, if required.

World Day for Children

The Holy Father’s message to children, “Changing the world starts with ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

Pope Francis announced that the Catholic Church will celebrate its first World Day of Children in May 2024. The event will be held on the weekend of 25 – 26 May 2024.

Pope Francis sends a message to all the children of the world ahead of the first “World Children’s Day” to encourage them to be united and listen to advice from grown-ups because, he says, their “pleases” and “thank yous” are the first step towards a better world. Read his full message here.

World Day for Grandparents

‘Loneliness’ at heart of Pope’s theme for 4th Grandparents Day.

On Sunday 28 July, Catholics around the world will be invited to take time to reflect on the great heritage and wisdom passed on by their grandparents and the elderly.

The Pope has chosen the theme, “Do not cast me off in my old age” (cf. Psalm 71: 9).

According to a press release from the Dicastery, it is meant “to call attention to the fact that, sadly, loneliness is the bitter lot in life of many elderly persons, so often the victims of the throw-away culture.

Read more about this here.

If you require any further information, please contact:

Deacon Rob Wareing, Diocesan Lead for Marriage and Family Life

Mobile: 07841 530991

Quick Links: Family & Sacraments Marriage Care

Spiritual Accompaniment

Exploring Spiritual Accompaniment

Spiritual Accompaniment has been part of the Christian tradition and a ministry in the Church since the days of the early Church. It is often called Spiritual Direction, although we prefer the term ‘accompaniment’ because it suggests walking alongside someone in their spiritual/faith journey, rather than telling them what to do!

Spiritual Accompaniment is not about solving problems so much as exploring our relationship with God, through prayer and reflection on our experience of faith and life.

A Spiritual Director is not there to give advice or tell you what to believe in, but rather to listen attentively and act as a ‘sounding board’ for whatever you bring to the session.

Spiritual Accompaniment sessions usually take place every couple of months or so, depending on the circumstances of the individuals involved.

Maybe you feel called to this ministry or know someone who might be interested. St Antony’s Priory in Durham offers training. Sr Sheila McNamara RSCJ, the Diocesan Lead on Spiritual Accompaniment, is part of the training team for the two-year course.

Training in Spiritual Accompaniment

Exploring Spiritual Accompaniment’ is a two-year programme of formation that provides both an opportunity for personal spiritual development, as well as offering practical and experiential training in the skills applicable to accompanying others on their faith journey.

Our approach to Spiritual Accompaniment is ecumenical, drawing on a broad range of Christian wisdom and spirituality, as well as being informed by the Guidelines for Spiritual Directors, published by the Retreat Association.

A key principle undergirding the course is that it should be congruous with the process of spiritual accompaniment itself. Rather than simply being a programme of training in skills or knowledge, it should also be seen as a process of discernment and formation in the charism of this distinctive ministry.

The course will comprise eight modules taught over two academic years. Each module will include a significant element of self-directed learning. This will provide an opportunity to reflect on matters considered between sessions, as well as enabling a focus on the development of listening skills and the practice of accompaniment.

The course has vastly exceeded my expectations on every level. The depth and spread of topics covered, the reading and the materials (physical and online) and individual and group experiential aspects have all been extremely rich and stretching.

Please see St Antony’s website – Spiritual Direction section – for more information or email Sr Sheila:

Quick Link: Spiritual Accompaniment

Deepening Our Faith

Constitutions of Vatican II

In this section, you can find resources to help explore the four Constitutions of Vatican II: Sacrosanctum Concilium – the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Lumen Gentium – Light of the Nations, Dei Verbum – Word of God, Gaudium et spes – the Church in the Modern World.

Groups may wish to organise talks/prayers/reflections on these four constitutions, and we hope you find the resources useful and helpful.


Are you thinking about running an Alpha group?

Visit: or email:


The Catechism in a Year

Sign up for Ascension’s Catechism In A Year podcast with Fr Mike Schmitz, and you can:

  • Read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 days
  • Understand the essentials of the Catholic Faith and why they matter
  • See how Church teaching is rooted in Sacred Scripture
  • Absorb over 2,000 years of Sacred Tradition
  • Encounter God’s plan of sheer goodness
  • Transform their relationship with the Church that Christ founded.

The Bible in a Year

Ascension’s Bible in a Year Podcast, hosted by Fr Mike Schmitz and featuring Jeff Cavins, guides Catholics through the Bible in 365 daily episodes. Each 20 – 25 minute episode includes:

  • Two to three scripture readings
  • A reflection from Fr Mike Schmitz
  • A guided prayer to help you hear God’s voice in his Word

Ascension’s Bible in a Year Podcast for Catholics follows a reading plan inspired by the Great Adventure Bible Timeline® learning system, a ground-breaking approach to understanding Salvation History developed by renowned Catholic Bible teacher Jeff Cavins. Tune in and live your daily life through the lens of God’s word!

Bereavement Support

People continue to request support following the death of a loved one. Most requests have come via the dedicated phone (07732 980740) and people are put in touch with a member of the Bereavement Support Team very quickly. Some people have been personally encouraged by a friend or relative to contact our service.

The Emmaus Bereavement Support Service number is 07732 980740 a member of the team will contact you promptly.

Quick Link: Accompaniment in Difficult Times.


Fr Sean Hall continues to offer his weekly reflections on the Sunday Readings and Pat Kennedy her monthly reflections, both available to read online or download in the Prayer Resources section.

Contact Us

Contact the Vicariate of Faith & Mission by email: or by telephone 0191 243 3316 / 07375 934713 during office hours.

Visit our Vicariate for Faith & Mission News page here.