From one of our H&N correspondents

Bishop Robert appointed his 12 canons as an additional layer between him and the people. Here are some questions and facts.

William Agley

came to the Diocese from Southwark about a year before Bishop Robert but as soon as Bishop Robert arrived he was moved to one of the best parishes in the Diocese ( St Charles Gosforth) and made Diocesan Chancellor an appointment over many long serving Diocesan priests.

He was also made a Canon. The new Bishops House was within a 5 min walk for St Charles presbytery. In August 2022 after asking for a move he moved to St Bedes South Shields but remained Chancellor (Why did he want to get away from Gosforth where the people loved him and he loved the people.? He worked in and knew a lot about what went on in Bishops House and as he came from Southwark diocese he probably knew Tim Gardner

He obviously wanted to distance himself.


Why was a priest who had served only ONE YEAR in the diocese promoted to CANON and DIOCESAN CHANCELLOR.

What did he know about Bishop’s House and TIM GARDNER.

Michael Brown –

a traditionalist who was celebrating the Latin mass ( as listed Extraordinary Form) at 12-00 on a Sunday in St Josephs Gateshead. Bishop Robert was frequently there. He suffers severely from Parkinsons and struggles on.

Michael Campion –

Former Dean of Cathedral; a loyal, out spoken, straight as a die priest who should have been raised to a higher level in the Diocese but he doesn’t beg or suck up. He speaks the truth and can be seen as controversial. He raises questions others are afraid to ask . Sadly he is in bad health now with Parkinsons and at 74 too old but he would have made an excellent Bishop.

Michael Griffiths Stephen Watson 

both very hard working and committed priests but, along with Fr Andrew Shaw, are known as “ the three in the bed”.

Ian Patterson 

started his priestly life as curate at Holy Name Jesmond and worked full time as “secretary to Bishop Hugh Lindsey and spent 14 years walking side by side ( hand in hand ) with Hugh. He was then given a good parish of St Patricks Felling and he has been there for 34 years. His contribution to the Diocese is NIL.

However in 1991 he was reported to Bishop Ambrose for inappropriate behaviour with a 17 year old young man . After further enquiries by Bishop Ambrose it was discovered he had befriended another young man aged 17 who he had met as part of a large Lourdes youth group.

He had previously singled out individuals of age 17/18 to accompany him “ on pilgrimage to Lourdes” and continue on holiday with him by car. Bishop Ambrose did speak to the Diocesan youth leader and other priests and he did take action to stop IP involvement in the Diocesan Lourdes pilgrimages but as the young men in question were not parishioners he remained in the parish. No doubt records weren’t kept or after all this time have been destroyed. Obviously Bishop Robert did not research the backgrounds of his chosen disciples .


Are there unresolved safeguarding matters here.

Martin Stempczyk 

was removed as VG by Bishop Robert because “he refused to wear a black shirt preferring grey or blue with his collar”. He was made a Canon. Why when he was out of favour? What did he know? However, he is not a person to be trusted.

Fr David Taylor may not be languishing in jail if Martin had not refused to be a witness in court. Martin completely turned his back on someone who had supported him throughout his seminary training and early days as a priest.

As sure as it is possible to be , everyone who knows and worked with Fr David in youth work, is 99% certain he is innocent and certainly never showed any deviant behaviour with the 1000s of young people he worked with in their presence but 2 young men accused him and got good pay offs from the Diocese.

In court, the dates and information they gave were incorrect and could be proved had Martin stood up and supported his friend. Their claim that they slept in a tent with David were totally false – Martin knows that because on that camping trip to Lourdes it was he, as a seminarian and adult, who shared a two man tent with separate sleeping bags with David .

BUT Martin, the good faithful Christian priest did the Judas act. He turned his back and stabbed the knife in. He has never once written or made any enquiry to David or Davids family, whom he previously regularly visited, had meals, etc.


Is there genuine doubt over David Taylor’s guilt.

Canon Paul Douthwaite –

came to Diocese from the Redemptorists. Bishop Seamus took a long time before he eventually accepted him into the Diocese. He wasn’t given a parish immediately. He worked as a Prison Chaplain at Low Newton and Durham and then was appointed Head of the National Catholic Prison Chaplains .

This appointment was short-lived and ended abruptly . Can someone explain why he left this position with no mention in the Catholic Press or Diocesan news? Returning to the Diocese, he was given a small parish, and then very quickly, Bishop Byrne appointed him as Honary Canon and gave him the large prime parish in Hartlepool.

Christopher Jackson

had already been on “ leave” as he was investigated from his time in the CofE. He returned to the Diocese and was very soon promoted and made a Canon by Bishop Robert and , within a short time , suddenly “disappeared and it was stated he was taking early retirement” ???


Fr Andrew Shaw as Chaplain to Newcastle University was reported to Safeguarding as to major concerns about the running of the Chaplaincy and the “selected students” but nothing was done. He was friends with Bishop Robert so ?? was this complaint swept under the table.