Forward Together In HopeForward Together in Hope is a three year journey of renewal across the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. It is about all of us working together to explore or discern God’s will for our diocese. Using information held centrally by the diocese and carrying out a thorough self-evaluation, each worshiping community will look in detail at how it can flourish into the future. A key strength of the approach is that it will take place in the same way across the whole of the diocese.

The entire process will be firmly rooted in prayer and a real openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Resources will be provided to help worshipping communities to reflect prayerfully on the future challenges and opportunities. Forward Together in Hope is led and endorsed by Bishop Seamus and the Diocesan Board.

The initial stages of the journey were Preparing the Way and Exploring the Way to raise awareness and involve people in the parish in looking at partnerships with neighbouring parishes. The partnership proposal put forward to the Diocese for the final stage Pointing the Way was for St Anne’s to enter a partnership with St Peter’s – Low Fell, Corpus Christi – Bensham, St Oswalds – Wrekenton and Holy Rosary – Teams.

At the end of January 2017 for four days Bishop Seamus met with the Diocesan Board to review the Pointing the Way partnership proposals from all areas of the Diocese. The report was over 180 pages long and comprised 27 partnership grouping from communities around the Diocese. After the week the partnership grouping were reduced to 18 and a copy of the document outlining the partnership proposals can be downloaded here. But St Anne’s will be part of a 13 parish partnership joining with Philip Neri – Dunston; St Patrick – Felling;  Corpus Christi, Holy Rosary, St Joseph, St Wilfrid – Gateshead; St Augustine – Leam Lane; Immaculate Heart – Lobley Hill; St Peter – Low Fell; St Alban – Pelaw; St Mary – Whickham and St Oswald – Wrekenton

From this point onwards groups will be set up to look at the practicalities in forming and developing the partnerships.

Further updates on the Forward Together in Hope process will issued in the News of the website

Many thanks to our lay contacts Margaret Davidson, John Consterdine and Anthony Blake who worked tirelessly attending many meetings in the  Forward Together in Hope process. I’m sure their work isn’t done and they will be involved in linking with our partnership parishes.

A range of documents and other resources including a DVD and Powerpoint presentation are available on the diocesan website –