July & August 2024 – Before planning your visit, please check our ‘Visitor Notices’ for accessibility updates and one-off changes to opening times. Click here to view.

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NEWCASTLE CATHEDRAL
A BEACON OF LIGHT

  • OPENING TIMES

  • Saturdays and Sundays
    8am-5pm
  • Mondays to Fridays
    8am-6pm
  • Café 16
    Mon-Sat 10am-4pm
  • FREE ENTRY

Opening times

  • Saturdays and Sundays
    8am-5pm
  • Mondays to Fridays
    8am-6pm
  • Café 16
    Mon-Sat 10am-4pm
  • FREE ENTRY

Transform Drugs Event at Newcastle Cathedral

On Thursday 10 November 2022, Newcastle Cathedral will host an event in collaboration with the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, facilitated as part of the charity’s Anyone’s Child: Families for Safer Drug Control campaign. Key people and relevant services have been invited to attend the event together with those with lived experience of drug use and poor mental health.

The purpose of the evening is to bring together people and services to explore some of the issues associated with our existing drugs policy and to consider what action could be taken here in the North East. 

The event comes in the wake of recently published figures showing the area as having the highest levels of drug-related deaths in England:

  • Newcastle’s annual drug-related death rate (13.2) is more than double the average for England (5.1) and 4 times higher than London, with 106 Newcastle residents dying from drugs last year.
  • In the North East, annual opiate-related deaths have doubled in the last decade increasing to 173 deaths recorded in 2021.
  • Annual cocaine-related deaths in the North East have increased 11-fold, from six in 2011 to 66 in 2021.

(Figures from Office for National Statistics)

A report published on 16 August 2022 in the British Medical Journal states that a fundamental reorientation in approach is urgently needed to stop this alarming trend in UK drug-related deaths. The report highlights that addiction should be understood and treated as a health issue, as opposed to being viewed as a matter of criminality.

Newcastle Cathedral will offer a safe space where some key themes will be explored with the aim of agreeing on practical action. 

An Overdose Prevention Centre (OPC) ambulance will be parked outside the Cathedral.

Peter Krykant’s re-purposed ambulance was the first OPC in the UK (Glasgow). The ambulance is available for people to view as an exhibit (i.e. the OPC will not be in active use)

The aim of the event is not to generate confrontation, blame, or ambush or embarrass individuals or services, but to look at new initiatives that are happening elsewhere and consider what might be possible.

The Revd Jon Canessa, Newcastle Cathedral’s Lantern Initiative Lead, says: “The North East is served by excellent recovery and rehab services which our local authorities work hard to commission and support. While there are opposing views and attitudes to our existing drugs policy, there is universal agreement that more needs to be done to support those struggling with their addictions and to prevent the rising numbers of drug-related deaths.

“It is not for Newcastle Cathedral to dictate our national drugs policy, but we can play a role by providing a safe place for a respectful and honest look at the impact of our existing drugs legislation and how it directly impacts individuals and our communities.”

Click here to contact the Revd Jon Canessa for more information about the Transform Drugs Event at Newcastle Cathedral.

Click here to find out more about the Anyone’s Child campaign.

Recovery Church at the Cathedral

These weekly services aim to help people in recovery from a range of addictions to make connections within the self, with others and with their higher power.

Find out more