Course To Help Catholics Understand Islam

Father Damian Howard SJ

A four-day course for Catholics living and working with Muslims is taking place this September.

“Understanding Islam”, presented by Father Damian Howard SJ, aims to help Catholics understand how the worldviews of the Muslims they come into contact with are shaped by their faith.

Participants are encouraged to see the world through Muslim eyes and are taken through a stimulating programme including sessions on Muhammad, Islamic beliefs, laws and prayer life.

There are also opportunities to learn about Islamic perspectives on Christianity, developments in the modern Islamic world and Islam in Britain.

The course takes place at the Focolare Centre for Unity in Welwyn Garden City and is supported by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

You can hear Father Howard talk about the course at

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Churches Invited To Join VE Day Tribute

VE Day anniversary

Churches throughout the country are being invited to join next year’s celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

VE Day 75, on the weekend of May 8 to 10 2020, will be an international celebration of peace. Churches are being asked to ring out their bells for peace at 7pm on the Friday and organise services of celebration and commemoration at 10.30am on Sunday to celebrate peace and remember those who lost their lives or were wounded.

They are also encouraged to read out the Tribute to the Millions and ask a local bugler or trumpeter to play the Last Post and Reveille. Register at

Leaders Call For Action On Religious Freedom

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Christian leaders have called on the government to protect Christians facing persecution and to promote freedom of religion. 

In a joint Catholic and Church of England document, Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Justin Welby argued that the government should promote freedom of religion and belief as a fundamental human right.

They also called on the government to take a joined-up approach to freedom of religion and belief in foreign, aid, security, trade, resettlement and asylum policy, rather than treating it as an isolated diplomatic activity.

They were writing in response to the government-commissioned independent review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians, launched by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this year and led by Bishop of Truro Philip Mountstephen.

In their letter, Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop Welby said: “Christians form an important part of the social fabric in almost every country of the world.

“Yet in many places, our Christian sisters and brothers face persecution of an intensity and extent unprecedented in many centuries. This submission is shaped by their voices and by our commitment to make them heard.

“We must remember, too, that these threats to freedom of religion or belief are not restricted to Christians alone. Rather, it is a widespread experience of the followers of other faiths.

“Many are deprived of this basic expression of their human dignity. Similar threats are also faced by atheists and agnostics who seek to uphold crucial decisions of conscience.”

“We ask Her Majesty’s Government to take note of the practical recommendations offered by our churches in this submission and to take meaningful action not only in protecting Christians facing persecution but also in promoting freedom of religion and belief more widely.”

The call was echoed by Archbishop Bashar Warda, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Kurdistan Iraq, where Christians were chased from their homes in 2014 as ISIS took hold in Northern Iraq.

Archbishop Warda said: “The UK government has taken the first courageous step to have the global review into Christian persecution. The next courageous step is to come and listen to those who suffer and witness the persecution, the destruction, the displacement and the frightening figures of persecuted flight.

“The Church in England and Wales is a great support to us here in Iraq. Cardinal Nichols made a great impact when he came here in 2015 to see and experience our situation at first hand.”

How We Help The Church’s Mission

Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019

As we look forward to Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019, Canon Michael Loughlin reflects on the work we do to support the Church’s mission…

Our diocese has a long history of supporting the Pontifical Mission societies. The chief way we support the missions is through the Mill Hill Mission box – every home and presbytery should have one.

Last year, our diocese donated £73,945, just from the Mission boxes. Another £10,845 was raised by the second collection on World Mission Sunday 2018 and a further £11,529 was given for the training of priests through the St Peter the Apostle society.

Anyone can sponsor the last four years of training for a priest. It simply costs £500 a year. It would be great if every parish would sponsor a seminarian. I don’t think people know how easy it is to do this.

At a time when we in the diocese are having difficulty in attracting vocations, there is an abundance overseas. One of the most successful supports for the missions comes from our schools, who raised £7,063 through the work of Mission Together.

Last year we were the best diocese in the north of England for the support received from our schools. All told, our diocese raised £104,935 for the work of the missions.

Thank you to everybody who has a mission box, sponsors a seminarian, donates on World Mission Sunday and to all our schools who support Mission Together.

Our special Mass at the Cathedral in October will be an occasion to celebrate and to deepen our commitment to the work of mission.

Prayer for the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019

Heavenly Father,

When your only begotten Son Jesus Christ rose from the dead, he commissioned his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” and you remind us that through our Baptism we are made sharers in the mission of the Church.

Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be courageous and zealous in bearing witness to the Gospel, so that the mission entrusted to the Church, which is still very far from completion, may find new and efficacious expressions that bring life and light to the world.

Help us make it possible for all peoples to experience the saving love and mercy of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen. 

Job Opening For MYMission Parish Development Officer

World Youth Day 2018 in Panama

The Diocese of Middlesbrough is inviting applications for the position of Middlesbrough Youth Mission (MYMission) Parish Development Officer.

Job Description

The Parish Development Officer is a new role in the Diocese of Middlesbrough, which will drive the Middlesbrough Youth Mission (MYMission) in its next stage of development.

MYMission envisages parishes that encourage and stimulate faith development in their young people and in turn are fed by the irreplaceable energy and creativity that young people have to offer. The Parish Development Officer will be at the heart of this process.

A faith-filled person with a missionary attitude will undertake this role with creativity and zeal. An evangelising opportunity, the post-holder will need to inspire not just young people, but volunteers and priests also, to ensure youth ministry is the work of the whole community. The post is initially envisaged for three years, during which time MYMission hopes to have created regular, quality parish-based opportunities for young people.

Since its inception 10 years ago, MYMission has worked across the diocese with thousands of young people. Inspired by the writings of Blessed John Henry Newman, it seeks to help young people discover “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have MY MISSION.” The next stage of this journey seeks to build upon this foundation.

Principle tasks will include

  • Support Diocesan Youth Chaplain in delivering a vision for young people through an effective strategy that enhances youth participation in parishes.
  • Develop Youth Ministry in parishes through training and empowering local volunteers, establishing youth groups and facilitating the Diocesan Youth Council.
  • Work with young adults to create a culture of belonging, deepen spirituality and produce a sense of mission.
  • Collaborate with school chaplains through input/resources, particularly establishing links with local sixth forms.
  • Enhance and develop MYMission’s social media and online presence.
  • Organise, encourage and facilitate participation in threshold events such as Flame, where young people can hear the gospel message directed to them.


Based in Middlesbrough, the post is a full-time appointment based on a core 35-hour week, with the expectation of evening and weekend work. The salary is £24,500-£27,500 depending on experience. Initial three-year contract beginning September 2 2019. Closing date for applications Monday June 17 at 4pm. Interviews early July.

Applicants are required to be a practising Catholic in good standing with the Catholic Church and have a full UK driving license and own vehicle. This role is also subject to a DBS check.

Person Specification

Essential Skills

  • Experience working with young people
    • Knowledge of Social Media
    • Excellent communication skills
    • Able to work in a team

Desirable skills

  • Formal qualification in either theology or youth work/ministry
  • Knowledge of working in the environment of the Catholic Church

Personal Qualities

  • A practising Catholic
    • Cheerful, flexible and resilient
    • Creative
    • Confident and responsible

For an application form, please email or for more information, email

Head Teacher Opening At St Augustine’s in Scarborough

Children from St Augustine's, Scarborough

The Governors of St Augustine’s School in Scarborough, in partnership with the Diocese of Middlesbrough, wish to appoint a head teacher.

Group 5

ISR (5 pt. range between L23 & L28) Starting point depending on experience

NOR: 602

Required for January 2020

“We are a Catholic school where young people can grow in faith, are uniquely recognised and valued and are encouraged to achieve their full potential in a happy and caring environment.”

St Augustine’s is a successful, much-loved, high-achieving and joyful Catholic school in the Diocese of Middlesbrough. In June 2019 we anticipate joining a new and exciting Catholic Multi Academy Trust of 20 schools in the central region of the diocese.

Located in the beautiful coastal town of Scarborough, our school offers excellent Catholic education for communities within Scarborough and its surrounding villages.

Consistently oversubscribed, our GCSE results are in the top 20% in the UK and our students leave St Augustine’s having made significantly above average progress.

Our Catholic ethos and values lie at the heart of everything we do, making St Augustine’s a wonderful place to work, learn and grow.

Following the announcement that our Head Teacher is to retire at the end of 2019, governors are seeking to appoint a practising Catholic and an inspirational leader who will lead the school in the next stage of its mission.

The governors are looking for:

A person who leads by example with integrity and honesty

A person with vision, drive and ambition, who is passionate about the success of all children

A strong and visible commitment to Catholic education

A person with successful experience of senior leadership and proven success in leading improvement

A person who will play a full and active part in the local community

We will offer you:

Students who are enthusiastic and committed to their learning

A school with a caring and genuine catholic ethos

A community fully supportive of the school’s further success

A Leadership Team, Staff and Governors who are dedicated, talented and highly motivated

An opportunity to shape the future of Catholic education across the new St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust.

Visits to the school are welcomed. Please contact Mrs Sandra Brown on 01723 363280 or

The school is committed to safer recruitment practice and pre-employment checks will be undertaken before any appointment is confirmed. This post is subject to an enhanced DBS check.

Full details of the post, together with an application form can be found on the school’s website at .

Completed forms should be returned by post or electronically to

Closing date: Friday June 14 2019 (noon)

Shortlisting: Wednesday June 19 2019

Interviews: Tuesday July 2 and Wednesday July 3 2019

Bishops Release Spring Meeting Statement And Resolutions

Bishop Terry, right, with brother bishops at Adoremus in 2018

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have published a statement and a number of resolutions following their spring meeting at the Royal English College of St Alban’s in Valladolid, Spain.

At the end of our meeting in Valladolid, we thank Baroness Sheila Hollins and her team for their leadership of our days of safeguarding training.

We thank especially the people who spoke to us of their experiences as victims and survivors of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

We have been strengthened greatly by the prayers of so many, including seven Carmelite Monasteries, and we thank them too.

These have been days which have touched every bishop very deeply. We have listened to the deep and lasting confusion, pain and despair inflicted by the people who abused them.

We have listened with horror to the ways in which precious gifts of our faith have been used to groom and dominate both children and vulnerable adults in crimes of abuse. We humbly ask forgiveness of all who carry this pain, for our slowness and defensiveness and for our neglect of both preventative and restorative actions.

For us bishops, these days are a watershed. Now we accept with renewed vigour the challenges that lie ahead. We welcome warmly the Motu Proprio, Vos Estis Lux Mundi, issued by Pope Francis on the last day of our conference and its new provisions and requirements.


1. The Stewardship of God’s Creation

In the light of Pope Francis’ teaching in Laudato Si’ and reaffirming our commitment to the principles outlined in our 2002 document The Call of Creation, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales recognises that humanity is in an unprecedented ecological crisis. There is a moral duty to act with urgency and enable the faithful to make informed decisions that care for creation and will assist in repairing the damage.

We therefore urge the Church at all levels to continue to develop initiatives that care for our common home, and to identify individuals and groups to be advocates for this journey. To this end, a position paper has been prepared and further development in its themes is now being undertaken with a view to its approval by summer 2019.

 2. Christus Vivit!

The conference resolves to place the Holy Father’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive), at the heart of its ministry with and to young people. The conference will build on the work undertaken by the National Office for Vocation and the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed), Synod Fruits and others. Through its newly formed youth committee, the Department of Evangelisation and Catechesis encourages dioceses to use Christus Vivit to give new energy and focus to initiatives with young people in their local situations, so that:

There is a fresh invitation to young people to encounter Jesus as their “best friend”, the one who gives meaning and purpose to our individual lives

Young people can live the core kerygma of our faith, which the Holy Father identifies – “God loves you”, “Jesus is Saviour”, “He is Alive and at your side through the Holy Spirit”

Young people believe more fully that they are protagonists in the mission of the Church and they have the confidence to go outside of themselves in the service of others

We build a culture of vocation in which the call to discipleship has a central place, so that each person can discover the path of holiness that Jesus desires them to walk.

3. Liturgical Celebration for Blessed John Henry Newman

The conference agrees to the raising of Blessed John Henry Newman to the rank of Feast on October 9, subsequent to his canonisation, in the National Calendar for England and the National Calendar for Wales. It requests the optional memorials of St Denis and Companions and St John Leonardi be transferred to October 10.

4. Adoremus Legacy

The conference thanks all who worked for the successful Adoremus Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage. It asks the Bishops’ Working Group to continue meeting diocesan representatives to foster increased adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the communities of England and Wales and further supports the ongoing efforts of the Bishops’ Working Group of Adoremus towards the promotion of future Eucharistic Congresses.

Book Now For Climate Change Lobby

CAFOD Middlesbrough has organised a coach to take supporters to the Time Is Now mass lobby of parliament for climate and environmental action in London on Wednesday 26 June.

The coach leaves from outside of St Francis of Assisi at Acklam at 5.45am–6am.

If you would like to reserve a seat, visit the CAFOD website or call Carol Cross on 01642 822301 during office hours or 07779 804253.

Come And Support Our Young Footballers!

St Patrick's, Thornaby, one of the winning teams at the 2018 Primary Schools Catholic Cup

Spectators are very welcome to come along to support teams taking part in the prestigious Primary Schools Catholic Cup football tournament.

Spectators are very welcome to come along to support teams taking part in the prestigious Primary Schools Catholic Cup football tournament.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday June 29 at Trinity Catholic College playing fields in Middlesbrough from 10am.

The tournament is the highlight of the sporting calendar for schools throughout the diocese, with more than 600 pupils regularly taking part.

A total of 84 teams will compete this year, 49 boys’ and 35 girls’ teams from 39 schools around the diocese. Catering and car parking will be available and many schools will take their own gazebos to congregate under. 

As well as competitions for large and small girls’ and boys’ teams, there are also special prizes including the Knights of St Columba Fair Play Salver, the Bishop O’Brien Banner Award, the Catena Shield and the Mike McCullagh Memorial Cup.

Each child who takes part also receives a commemorative medal.

The tournament was started by Tony McAvoy at St Bede’s in Marske back in 1997 and has continued to grow ever since.

If anyone would like to volunteer in any way, such as support with parking or setting up and clearing away equipment, please contact the Diocesan Schools’ Service on 01642 850515 or email

The tournament survives on the generous support of people and organisations within the parishes of the diocese.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday June 29 at Trinity Catholic College playing fields in Middlesbrough.

The tournament is the highlight of the sporting calendar for schools throughout the diocese, with more than 600 pupils regularly taking part.

As well as competitions for large and small girls’ and boys’ teams, there are also special prizes including the Knights of St Columba Fair Play Salver, the Bishop O’Brien Banner Award, the Catena Shield and the Mike McCullagh Memorial Cup.

Each child who takes part also receives a commemorative medal.

The tournament was started by Tony McAvoy at St Bede’s in Marske back in 1997 and has continued to grow ever since.

If anyone would like to volunteer in any way, such as support with parking or setting up and clearing away equipment, please contact the Diocesan Schools’ Service on 01642 850515 or email

Bishop’s Blessing For New Chaplaincy Team

Baptist minister Rodney Breckon, Bishop Terry and Deacon Len Collings

Bishop Terry gave his blessing to what is thought to be the first NHS chaplaincy leadership of its kind during a visit to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. 

Deacon Len Collings, from Blessed Nicholas Postgate Parish, Redcar, has been appointed as one of two joint lead chaplains for the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, alongside Baptist minister Rodney Breckon.

Deacon Len has been the Roman Catholic chaplain at James Cook for the last seven years, while Reverend Rodney has been a member of the chaplaincy team at both James Cook and the Friarage Hospital Northallerton for more than 20 years. 

As well as these two hospitals, the new team will be responsible for chaplaincy provision at the trust’s hospitals in Redcar, Guisborough, Brotton and Richmond. 

Deacon Len said he was humbled and honoured to be appointed to such a rewarding role and is excited at the prospect of taking the team forward alongside Reverend Rodney.

During his visit, Bishop Terry enjoyed chatting to patients and staff on several wards, before the short blessing ceremony in the hospital chapel.

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