Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle Guild of St Stephen

Annual Diocesan Mass for the Altar Servers. UPDATE

Letters for this year's Servers Mass have been sent to the Parish's, Ask your Parish Priest for details or click on the link below

Servers Mass Letter


Recently the Guild has a twitter page, please find the link on the home page, www.twitter.com/@rcdhnststephen

Annual Diocesan Mass for the Altar Servers.

On Saturday 5th October 2013, at St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle our Guild Mass will take place.

It will start at 11:00am, all servers please be in the Cathedral to vest for no later than 10:30am. Please bring guild medal, sarsh alb/cassack & cotta

Please find attached the letter for Parish Priests or MC's to send back in time to get medal orders in and also numbers for the Cathedral.

Notice for the Guild Mass


Habemus Papam, Pope Francis

Franciscus - miserando atque eligendo

It is with great delight that we announce a new Pope, Francis.

Below, is a message sent on behalf of the Guild to His Holiness, Pope Francis.

His Holiness, Pope Francis


His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

Pope outside Westminster Cathedral


Recently after Benedict XVI shock resignation from office, I wrote a to His Holiness sending our prayers. Below is the letter which was sent.

His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus

The other day i recieved a letter back from the Vatican from the Assessor Monsignor Peter B. Wells at the Secretariat of State.

'His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI wishes to thank all those who have assured hiim of their prayers and good wishes on the occasion of his resignation from office. He promises to remember them in his own prayers and he sends his blessing'.

Diocese honours its faithful altar servers

Altar servers from all parts of the Diocese gathered at St Aloysius' church in Hebburn on October 6th, for the annual St Stephen's Mass, concelebrated by Bishop Seamus, Episcipal Vicars Fr John Butters and Fr Chris Jackson and several other priests.

The National Secretary of the Archconfraternity of St Stephen, Mr Michael O'Leary travelled from London to attend the Mass. There are now 74 parishes in the Diocese at which the altar servers are affiliated to the Guild of St Stephen and a further 95 members recieved their Guild medals at the Hebburn Mass.

Diocesan Director Marc Besford from Billingham has worked hard to increase the numbers of dedicated servers who wish to join the loyal band of assistants at Masses and other services, and hopes that more parishes will enrol into the guild.

Fr Marc Lyden-Smith preached the homily and told the servers they were in a very privilaged posistion when they served Mass. 'You are the closest to Our Lord' he said. He asked them to consider carefully what path they might follow in life. 'For many of you it will be marriage, some of you may be called to be a religious sisters or brothers, and some of you boys as priests or deacons. The priesthood is a great life. You are privilaged to share people's joys and sorrows. St Stephen was a deacon and he gave his life for Christ'

A long line of servers moved up to the altar where they were invested with their medals by Marc Besford and Michael O'Leary.

After Mass, priests, servers and parents then went into the parish hall for refreshments, the servers proudly sporting their medals which they would wear at Mass next.

By Northern Cross.

SS Patrick & Pius X, Consett

Congratulations to St Patrick and St Pius X, who celebrated the affiliation into the Guild of the 12 Servers who recieved there Guild Medal, Well Done. 

Dates for Diary.

9th March 2013, National Servers Mass for the Guild 2.30pm: Westminster Cathedral, principal celbrant, The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminister.

Hundreds attend special Mass for Altar Servers.

At the Diocesan Altar Servers Mass, Bishop Seamus Cunningham said he was delighted to see the number of servers multiply since the first Mass for servers was organised last year.    It was estimated around 300 altar servers joined the Mass this year in St Mary's Cathedral which was packed to capacity with parents and servers attending from all over the Diocese.    Eposcopal Vicor for Cleveland and South Durham Fr John Butters preached the homily saying: 'we prepare ourselvs as altar servers and still all of us make mistakes. But we should try to do our best when we come to Mass. We have to remeber that we are not helping but serving God which is the most sacred thing to do' Fr Butters continued: 'St Stephen who was a Deacon served at the Mass and was put to death for his faith. It takes alot of courage to stand out and do altar serving. We ask St Stephen for his prayers.' Later Bishop Seamus asked all the altar servers to renew their commitment. Medals were distributed to those servers who had not recieved them previously. Bishop Seamus presented a special medal to John McGarrity of St Augustines Church, Darlington, for his service as an altar server for over 50 years.     Marc Besford, until recently the Assistant Director of the Guild, was promoted to Director by the Bishop. As many as 20 altar servers came with parents and parishioners from churches in Billingham area, where the idea of holding a special Mass for servers gained support.

By Alison Rebello. Northern Cross

St Gregory's, South Shields

Congratulations to all the servers who received their Guild medal.

RCDHN Servers Mass

 Congratulations to all the servers who received their medal at the Altar Servers Mass on the 8th October 2011, at St Marys Cathedral. I also would like to thank all the servers who attended a packed Cathedral as well as parents and parishioners.

South Shields Affiliation.

Congratulations to St Bede's, South Shields who celebrated the affiliation into the Guild. In which 7 servers received their Guild medal during the ceremony.

Newton Aycliffe Affiliation

Congratulations to St Josephs & St Mary's, Newton Aycliffe who celebrated the affiliation into the Guild. In which 14 servers were enrolled into the Guild and 13 received their Guild Medal. Everyone who gathered marked the occasion with light refreshments after Mass.

Hartlepool Affiliation.

Congratulations to Hartlepool, St Cuthbert’s who have been affiliated into the Guild and held a Mass on Friday afternoon in which 7 servers were enrolled into the Guild and received their Guild Medals.


Darlington Affiliation

 On the 3rd May 2011 at St Teresa church, Darlington celebrated the affiliation of all the parishes in the town into the Guild of St Stephen. Fr. Butters (Episcopal Vicar of the South of the Diocese) was principal celebrant along with Rev Deacon Muller, Fr. Price, Fr. Doyle and Marc (Assistant Director) who after the Gospel spoke to the servers about St Stephen and the Guild together with the SS Phillip and James whose feast it was. He reminded them about the annual Mass at our Cathedral - this year October 8th - and also the National Mass at Westminster on the 14th May. After the Blessing of the Medals 13 Servers were duly presented with them by the Assistant Director. After the ceremony all present gathered in the school hall for refreshments and a special cake (c.f below) was cut to mark the occasion.