Starting on Sunday 30 September 2018, we began to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the opening of this church. Throughout this anniversary year, we have the opportunity to reflect and celebrate what it means to be a member or friend of Holy Name today.

The Parish Council and I hope that our various celebrations will increase our appreciation of the church itself and help our community to continue to grow as a place where all – young or old, married, single or divorced, and whatever their sexuality – are welcomed and cherished. In this spirit we hope that as many people as possible will join together to hold a variety of celebrations and events throughout the year for people of all ages, means and preferences. ~ Fr Campion

Anniversary Events 2019

A Sign of Change

Last year Helen Waddell, who works in TV production in London, made a film of 35 minutes about our parish which she has titled A Sign of Change. Helen explains: “A Sign of Change offers a window into how a modern, Catholic parish thinks and feels about Catholic identity, faith and the future. Filmed at Holy Name, we see how Fr Campion and the parishioners struggle with and draw strength from their Catholic faith at a time when the reputation of the Church is in crisis. The film will be screened in the hall on Saturday 23 March at 6pm – it will begin at 6pm sharp so please arrive early for drinks, snacks and seats!”

Seamus Heaney and Modern Irish Poetry

We are delighted that the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University is working with us to celebrate our 90th anniversary. Four of their eminent scholars are giving presentations in our Church Hall over the next 12 months.

The first event takes place Wednesday 8 May at 7pm when we will explore Seamus Heaney’s Catholic Sensibility with Gary Wade. At the university Gary is studying with Professor Stephen Regan who will join us later in the year with a fresh presentation.

Gary writes: In an interview in 1979, Seamus Heaney said: ‘I think Catholicism meant everything to me, in some ways.’ In my talk, I want to explore how Catholicism shaped Heaney as a child and adolescent, and later as a poet. I will look at three main influences on Heaney, beginning with his religious upbringing on a small farm in County Derry, what I call ‘the domestic church’; the study of the catechism at school; and, finally, his intellectual formation through the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Patrick Kavanagh. I will trace each of these influences in his poetry.’

Professor Paul Murray will come to Holy Name Wednesday 5 June to discuss Pope Francis’ Call for a Fully Synodal Church and What This Would Mean in Practice.

All are welcome to these lectures.

Day of Reflection

On Saturday 7 September our spiritual Day of Reflection will be led by Fr Eamon Mulcahy, a member of the Spiritans (Holy Ghost Fathers) who spent many years lecturing in theology and Scripture in Africa.

Bishop’s Visit

Bishop Robert Byrne, installed as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle at St Mary’s Cathedral on Monday 25 March, will celebrate Mass with us on Sunday 29 September at 10am.

Requiem Mass

A Requiem Mass will be offered on Sunday 3 November for the deceased members and benefactors of our parish. The augmented Holy Name Choir will perform Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in D Minor throughout the Mass.

Communal Anointing of the Sick

From Fr Campion: During this, our 90th anniversary, year we hope to have a communal celebration of the Anointing of the Sick. This will take place during a Prayer Service during the day in late spring or summer. This Sacrament is for people struggling with any form of pain, disability or illness. It … gives the grace of the Holy Spirit to those who are sick: by this grace the whole person is helped and saved, sustained by trust in God, and strengthened against temptations of the Evil One and against anxiety over death. Thus the sick person is able not only to bear suffering bravely, but also to fight against it. (Pastoral Care of the Sick, n. 6).

Previous Events

On Sunday 30th September 2018 we marked the 90th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone for the church building with a simple Fizz and Cake reception after each Mass (just fizz in the evening). Many people took part – and said they’d like to see more occasions like this one!

The first of our celebrations took place on 23 June 2018 on HMS Calliope on the River Tyne. Guests began the evening with leisurely drinks on deck and in the Officer’s Mess while taking in the best views of the river. That very evening  they had the unique and privileged view of the spectacular water feature erected on the Tyne – as part of the Great Exhibition of the North – that was paying homage to one of the North East’s most famous landmarks, the Angel of the North.  Later, after enjoying sumptuous food prepared by the Navy’s chefs, they were able to dance the night away to a ‘live’ band.

Thanks to a generous sponsor (who wishes to remain anonymous) the cost of this unique celebration on the Tyne was about half what it normally would cost for such an event.

Other Events

Members and friends of Holy Name are now invited to begin thinking of creative ways to celebrate the 90th within their own sphere of interest or activity in the parish. What does it mean to you to be a member or friend of this parish? And how would you like this to be celebrated and, perhaps, become better known for others to benefit?


In addition to fundraising for our parish, we are supporting a project in the parish of St Anthony in Walker to benefit young people. To the end of January 2019 over £8,000 had been raised. So, if you can, you might host a small event in your home or workplace to support this very worthwhile project?