The Right Rev Kevin Dunn: Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle

Kevin Dunn had been the Roman Catholic Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle for less than four years, but in that short time had impressed the people of the diocese with his warmth and humanity. He is probably the first Catholic bishop in Britain to have had his death marked by a "podcast" on the diocesan website – the choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, singing the "Libera Me" from Fauré's Requiem. Dubbed the "smiling bishop", he was ordained the 12th Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle by his predecessor, Bishop Ambrose Griffiths, in May 2004.

Dunn was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, in 1950. He studied at local Catholic schools before beginning his theological studies at Oscott College, Birmingham. He was ordained a priest in 1976 and served in the Birmingham archdiocese in parishes in Walsall, Aston and Stoke, before undertaking further studies in Rome at the "Angelicum", the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, where he was awarded a Doctorate in Canon Law in 1991.

He was then appointed parish priest in St Austin's, Stafford, and during this time also lectured in canon law at Oscott College. In 2001, he was appointed full-time episcopal vicar for the areas of Wolverhampton, Walsall, the Black Country and Worcestershire. His appointment as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle was announced on 20 March 2004, the Feast of St Cuthbert, patron of the diocese, and he was ordained bishop on 25 May, the feast of St Bede, another great saint of the North East.

Last year, Dunn attended the World Youth Day held at Cologne in Germany. He was a regular leader of the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, where he took time to encourage young people from to develop their faith. He will be particularly remembered for his support of the Church's work with young people, and the encouragement he gave to Catholic schools. At one conference for schools, he surprised teachers by handing over a huge bag of conkers, which he had collected from his garden for schoolchildren.

He was a member of the Catholic Education and Formation Committee, and of the committee for Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults; he was also Chair of the Canon Law Working Party.

Dunn developed an understanding of the importance to Catholics in the North East of their history, and of the role in that history of local saints. He ensured that work began to refurbish the Church of St Aidan on Holy Island (Lindisfarne), an increasingly popular site of pilgrimage. He also campaigned to raise £2m to establish the Bede Chair of Catholic Theology at Durham University, the first such chair at a secular British university.

He did much ecumenical work in the North East, regularly meeting members of the North East Christian Churches Together group where he was Deputy Moderator. In 2006 he organised a pilgrimage to Rome for local church leaders, the highlight of which was an audience in St Peter's Square with Pope Benedict, who personally greeted the visitors.

Dunn was a keen golfer and organised an annual ecumenical tournament with the Anglican bishop Tom Wright and clergy of the diocese of Durham.

Paulinus Barnes

Kevin John Dunn, priest: born Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire 9 July 1950; ordained priest 1976; Roman Catholic Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle 2004-08; died Newcastle upon Tyne 1 March 2008.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
i100
Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album