Vicariate for Care of the Clergy

On-going formation of Clergy

On–Going Formation of Clergy in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle is made up of two mutually supportive Teams, the On–Going Formation of Priests and the On–Going Formation of Deacons Teams.

The term ‘ongoing formation’ is a reminder that the one experience of discipleship of those called to priesthood is never interrupted, and through a programme of support, members of clergy have access to spiritual support, opportunities to reflect on the Mission, as well as retreats and more.

On-going Formation of Clergy News

On-going Formation of Clergy Events

On–Going Formation of Priests

St John Vianney sets a high bar for priests to live up to, hence we as priests in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle need to be continually aware of our need to be fully steeped in the areas of spiritual, pastoral, intellectual and human development in order to live a life worthy of the Priesthood.

On–Going Formation Team:

The OGF Team have been given specific areas of formation to organise and promote.

Spirituality – Fr Martin Morris

Pastoral – Fr Shaun Purdy

Intellect – Fr Andrew Downie

Human Development – Fr John Bagnall

Retreats – Fr Shaun O’Neill

“The Priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus. When you see the priest, think of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

St John Vianney, the Cure of Ars and patron saint of all priests

Let's talk

Director for On–Going Formation for Priests:

Fr Shaun O’Neill, tel: 01289 307297 or email:

On–Going Formation of Deacons

The on-going formation of a deacon does not end at the ordination. It is a life-long process by which a deacon continually expands his knowledge and skills, so that his spiritual journey will constantly progress and he will increasingly become the unique image of God that he was created to be.

On–Going Formation Team:

The OGF Team has as its members:

Reverend Deacon Stephen Boulter

Reverend Deacon David Collins

Reverend Deacon Peter Linsley

Reverend Deacon Paul Nichols

Reverend Deacon Peter Smith

"When you serve at the table of the Eucharist, there you will find the presence of Jesus, Who gives himself to you so that you can give yourselves to others."

Pope Francis, Mass for Jubilee of Permanent Deacons, May 30, 2016

Reginald Cardinal Pole (1500 – 1558)

Although not a canonized saint, Cardinal Pole is said to be of saintly character and nature. One of the few ‘modern’ cardinals who was not only not a bishop, but was also not even a priest when he was added to the College of Cardinals. He has been described as a “Deacons for Deacons”, in that his life is offered as an example of how permanent deacons should live lives that are not only beyond reproach, but are living examples of diakonia – that is, service – to God, to family, to the Church.

St Bede the Venerable (born 672 / 673 – 735)

A deacon for considerable number of years, this theologian, historian, chronologist and local saint is an inspiration to permanent deacons for his life-long commitment to learning, to the need for an openness of mind and heart, for robust theological reflection.

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Director for On–Going Formation for Permanent Deacons:

Reverend Deacon David Collins


Additional resources

Divine Renovation

Divine Renovation exists to inspire, connect, and equip priests and their parishes to go from maintenance to mission – for every Catholic parish to be a place where people can come and have their lives transformed by entering into relationship with Jesus.

Document from Congregation for the Clergy

A reflection of the Second Vatican Council titled, ‘The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church’