Due to limited space on our paper newsletter additional items will be published here. This will include articles surrounding the wider church and global issues as well as any charity and social justice initiatives. Please check back regularly for updates and keep an eye on our main newsletter and social media pages for more information.
Synod 2021 – 2021
Pope Francis has provided the universal church with a wonderful opportunity to play their part in determining the shape of the church in the light of the corona virus. He’s not looking simply to those who love their church but to those also who in their dreaming visualise a very different looking church in which all will be embraced and energised. Now is the time for all God’s people to ask themselves what part they want to play at the local level in creating something new if indeed that is required.
As part of the discussion each of us are called to participate in an examination of the traditional exclusive position of power and separation as we look forward in fellowship. All people are invited to speak with courage, freedom and truth, and charity and must all take responsibility for the future growth of our own communities and as part of the wider church. The Synod is very much about listening and we invite you to have an open heart and open ears as we enter into this process of “Journeying Together” as this is only possible if it is based on communal listening. Find out how your prayers, thoughts and dreams for the future of the Church can be fed into our Diocese; over the coming months, the questions and the themes will be unpacked and there will be opportunities for you to speak in your own community or you can contribute your individual responses about what is being revealed to you and can find out more about the consultation process and what is being asked of us below. This diocesan stage only lasts until April 2022, so we are asked to make this one of our priorities for the next three months. ‘Synodality is not a corporate strategic exercise. Rather it is a spiritual process that is led by the Holy Spirit’
It’s difficult to know what will be presented to or offered forward by the Bishop after the initial parish meetings but what we do know is that the Pope initiated this process and takes it very seriously and he is open to the working of the Spirit in all of us, so please feel free to share your comments as your input is vital to the success of the future of the church. You can submit your thoughts directly to the Diocese via the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the synodal process, Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish will be running fortnightly series of Zoom meetings at 7:00 pm on Tuesday evenings to focus on some of the questions. The dates are:
- January 11th Questions 1 & 6. Who are our ‘Journeying Companions’ as individuals and as community or society?
- January 25th Questions 2 & 7. How can we truly make ourselves present to listen to one another, within our own Church and in conversation with other Christian traditions?
- February 8th Questions 3 & 8. How can we speak out and collaborate in responsibility in our church and in our community?
- February 22nd Questions 4 & 9. What fruits do our prayer and worship produce? How does this affect us as citizens?
- March 8th Questions 5 & 10. How can we become more effective as individuals and as Church in journeying together and passing on the faith?
The link to the zoom meeting is:
Meeting ID: 899 9059 3963 Passcode: 901900
On Saturday, February 12th, representatives from all the partnerships gathered with the Bishop, and together reflected on the input and the process so far.
- Following this meeting, the partnerships are asked to finalise their responses by February 22nd and to pass these to their respective Episcopal Area meetings.
- The Lay Pastoral Forum, which includes representatives of all the Partnership and lay groups in the diocese will compile all the responses received into a submission to the Bishop in early March.
- The Bishop will then consider this, plus the responses from the Clergy, Caritas, and other Diocesan groups and produce his final submission by April 8th
- At each stage, copies of the various submissions will be made available.
Have you joined the conversation? If you’ve not been part of the conversation yet, there is one more opportunity at 7 pm on Wednesday 23rd February. There will be an online gathering where you can join in to add your voice to the Synod. To register and Join the Conversation, visit https://diocesehn.org.uk/news/synod-join-the-conversation/
Please feel free to share your comments as your input is vital to the success of the future of the church. You can also submit your thoughts directly to the Diocese via email:
There is documentation available on the diocesan website and this can be accessed via the link below:
Faith and Family
Families are at the heart of what it is to live a life of faith. For most people faith is experienced firstly in the home. We have put together the following links and resources to help you, as family, to bring the faith alive to one another. By clicking the link below you will find some key messages about what the Church thinks about family and the importance it places on your home being a place for faith to grow. There are a number of organisations that seek to inspire, equip and support parents and grandparents in keeping their families in prayer, this includes a variety of resources and tips to help you as you consider your family’s faith.
The 10th World Meeting of Families will take place in Rome, 22-26 June 2022. The theme of this meeting, chosen by Pope Francis, is “Family Love: a vocation and a path to holiness”
The Vicariate for Caritas was established by Bishop Robert in January 2020. A prophetic step as three months later the church, along with the whole of society, was in lockdown, experiencing great loneliness, fear and need. Caritas Hexham and Newcastle helped to overcome these issues and continues to help us make real the vision of Pope Francis within our diocese, that of being one people, interdependent upon one another. It has seldom been more needed than right now.
If you follow the links you will discover the great work which is taking place, in your name, by a few dedicated staff and so many volunteers. If what you see moves you, then please respond. Perhaps you can offer your time and talents to one of the groups mentioned. You may be inspired to establish a local group or take up the call to advocate on behalf of someone in need. You may be able to support or lead a campaign to address injustice. You may be in a position to contribute financially to our work or you may be in need of the help and support that one of our groups provides. If I may speak on behalf of all involved we need your help and truly look forward to hearing from you.
Please follow the links below to read the stories, open your hearts so that together we can live out our Diocesan values and build God’s kingdom here on earth – Trust, Service, Respect, Integrity and Compassion.
The Art of Dying Well
What do we mean when we talk about ‘dying well’? This is one of life’s greatest questions. Dying well, or what constitutes a ‘good’ death will mean different things to us all. Our understanding is informed by a multitude of influences drawn from our individual journeys through life. But there are many universal questions, here we’ll explore some of the biggest questions and ideas, including what the Church says about death. The process of coming to terms with death and dying, can bring to the surface deeper questions about what life is all about. These questions can occur in relation to your own mortality, or surrounding the death of a loved one. It is quite natural to have these spiritual concerns.
In the Catholic faith it is believed that life is a precious gift from God and death simply opens the way to new life. Planning ahead can help to overcome fear and anxiety. Perhaps it is possible to take the sting out of death and encourage acceptance of it as a part of life itself. This service contains advice and options, and answers to frequently asked questions which will help guide you through what is often a very difficult time.
The Art of Dying Well offers practical and spiritual support to those faced with the prospect of death and dying. It is a site for everyone, please click the link below for further information:
Justice and Peace Refugee Project
LGBTQ+ History Month is for everyone, this takes place in February every year and offers a chance to connect and reflect on the past and present of the LGBTQ+ Community. It’s an opportunity to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and progress towards equality over time, and to explore what the lessons of history can teach us for the future. As members of the Body of Christ we seek to encourage one another both in faith and in acceptance of who we are. In our diversity we celebrate that we are all made in the image of God.
“God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.“
1 John 4:16
We are a support group for and run by Catholics in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, who identify as LGBT+ or who are questioning their sexual or gender identity. Friends and family members are welcome to join us. We meet on the third Tuesday of each month for a varied programme. We are back to meeting at St. Andrew’s RC Church in Newcastle, but it is also possible to connect through Zoom.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 15th March at 7.30pm on the theme “Caritas in action in our Diocese“– click below for further information