Fr Martin Newell is a Passionist, and was a founder member of the London Catholic Worker community ( living in their houses of hospitality for 8 years. He lives at Austin Smith House, a Passionist House of Hospitality for destitute asylum seekers in inner city Birmingham.

Following the example of Dorothy Day, he has been arrested numerous times for his nonviolent witness to the peace and justice of Christ, and spent a total of over 8 months in prison. Since moving to Birmingham he has also initiated a Birmingham Catholic Worker group.