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Imagining the future: A diocese in north east England takes the collapse in clergy numbers as an opportunity for renewal

Can Catholics deepen their faith even as the Church appears to be shrinking in size and losing confidence? It’s a question the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle is currently attempting to address. Three years ago, on 16 July 2014, the bishop, Séamus Cunningham, announced what appeared to some to be an audacious programme, not of rescue and survival, but of development and renewal.