St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne

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St Mary's Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St. Mary, Newcastle upon Tyne
Cathedral with Cardinal Hume statue in foreground
Cathedral with Cardinal Hume statue in foreground
Shown within Newcastle
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Location Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Country England
Denomination Roman Catholic
Consecrated 1844
Status Cathedral
Functional status Active
Architect(s) Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Years built 1842-1844
Completed 21 August 1844
Number of spires 1
Diocese Hexham and Newcastle (since 1850)
Province Liverpool
Bishop(s) Séamus Cunningham
Dean Dermott Donnelly
Director of music Howard Baker
Organist(s) David Allison

The Cathedral Church of St Mary is a Catholic cathedral in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, the mother church of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and seat of the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. The Cathedral, situated on Clayton Street, was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin and built between 1842 and 1844. The cathedral is a grade I listed building and a fine example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture championed by Pugin. There is a monument dedicated to Cardinal Basil Hume in the Monument Garden outside of the cathedral, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. St Mary's Cathedral is the fifth tallest structure in the city.


By decree of Pope Pius IX on 29 September 1850, the Catholic hierarchy was restored on a regular pattern to England and Wales. Much of what had been known as the Vicariate Apostolic of the Northern District became the new See of Hexham.

Bishop William Hogarth was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese, and as such, required a church in which to place his seat or cathedra. St Mary's was chosen for this purpose and thus it gained the status of a cathedral church in 1850, becoming the first cathedral in Newcastle, as the Anglican St. Nicholas' Cathedral didn't become a cathedral until 1882.

The name of the see was changed in 1861 to Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. Since then, eleven further bishops have been installed in St Mary's as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.


The seat of the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle was vacant after the death of the Right Reverend Kevin John Dunn in March 2008. He served in the post for almost four years, having been consecrated a Bishop and installed on the feast of St Bede the Venerable, 25 May 2004. Seamus Cunningham received his episcopal consecration on 20 March 2009 (feast of St. Cuthbert, the diocese's patron), at St. Mary’s Cathedral. He is the thirteenth bishop of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.

On 21 April 2006 the incumbent Dean, the Reverend Michael Campion, officially left his appointment at the cathedral. He is succeeded by the Reverend Peter Leighton, formerly the Catholic Chaplain to the University of Durham. Under the careful and exacting guidance of the Reverend Peter Leighton, the Cathedral has undergone a thorough period of renovation restoring much of the beauty of the original design. Phase one of the work was completed in September 2010 and phase two of the work, which included the installation of a new three-manual organ from one of Britain's leading firms of organ craftsmen, was completed in February 2013.


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