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.”
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 Synodal process will take place in three stages, beginning in our Diocese in December 2021. People from across our community are invited to consider and respond to the Synod's 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 submissions for this part of the Synodal process will be 4 February 2022.
The Synod provides us with an opportunity to be creative about who we engage with; are there people who are housebound you could talk to over the phone? Could you use our Junior Synod resources below to engage the children of your parish and help them feel included? Perhaps you could set up a Synod group, using the materials provided.
Responses from across our Diocese will be collated throughout February next year. Bishop Richard will present a summary of the feedback received during an online meeting on 9 March at 7.30pm. To register to attend this meeting, please click here. 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 Participant and Group Leaders' Guide below has been created to help guide group leaders and individuals consider and respond to the Synod questions sent to us by Rome.
We hope to encourage as many people as possible to submit their feedback using an online form. You can access the form here. If you would like to submit your responses on paper there is space to add a written response, and details of posting, included in the Participant and Group Leaders' Guide.
If you have questions about the diocesan phase of the Synod please contact our team E: firstname.lastname@example.org. There are a range of supporting resources available online to help you explore and understand the Synod process, they include: