For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission

A two-year 'synodal' process is taking place across the Catholic Church. This is an important moment in the life of the world Church, with Pope Francis calling us all to reflect on the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.” The Pope is inviting us to take this journey together. As the Preparatory Document for the Synod expresses, “This path of walking together is the most effective way of manifesting and putting into practice the nature of the Church as the pilgrim and missionary People of God

Our Diocesan Synod Response

People and parish groups across our diocesan community contributed to the diocesan phase of the Synod, with an estimated 1,000 people contributing their reflections on the questions posed by Rome. If you were unable to attend Bishop Richard’s Feedback Webinar, you can watch it here.

Exploring the Synod process

The Synod is an invitation to people across our community of faith to ‘walk together’, with every member of the Church encouraged to participate.

Bishops will play a key role, listening to the people of God in their particular Church and, under the power of the Holy Spirit, to hear and discern what is being said of that Church. It is important that those taking part in the Synod allow those charged with the work of discernment, the freedom and support to do so.

Each local Church is a fundamental part of the Universal Church, so what is shared within each local Church is important, contributing to the whole.

The three stages of the Synodal Path

The Synodal process will take place in three stages. It began in our Diocese in December 2021 with people from across our community invited to consider and respond to the Synod questions in a range of ways: online or in writing, within their parish, at home with friends, their family or alone, through in-person or online groups. The deadline for diocesan submissions was 4 February 2022, which has now passed.

After a period of discernment, the Synodal process will move to its Regional Phase, with our Diocese making a written submission to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales steered by the European Council of Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE). The Synod process will eventually progress to the Universal Church with the final Synod Gathering of Bishops in Rome in 2023.

Our Diocesan Response

The diocesan stage of the Synodal Process has been completed in our Diocese. You can read the 'Synthesis of Synod Responses' document Bishop Richard has submitted to Bishops' Conference on our behalf, below.