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SYNOD 2020


Synod Prayer

Father, we thank you for the love you have shown us in the gift of Jesus, your Son. We thank you for the gift of the Church, through which you show us that you are always with us and are always at work in our lives.

As we journey together to Synod 2020 help us to become the Church that you are calling us to be. May your Holy Spirit be powerfully at work among us. Strengthen each of us and guide Francis, our Pope and Malcolm, our Archbishop.

Help us to respond to the challenges of our times in new ways to bring your love to all our sisters and brothers. We make this prayer through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


What is Synod 2020?

When he became Pope in 2013 Pope Francis issued a challenge to the whole church.  It was in the form of an Apostolic Exhortation called ‘The Joy of the Gospel’.  He invited us all to have a daily encounter with Christ who changes lives and to have the courage to take up the call of Jesus to be missionary disciples.  He said that our parishes were the places where this could happen as long as we were prepared to renew what we do. Pope Francis wrote:
‘I dream of a “missionary option”, that is a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.’
Pope Francis invites everyone to be part of this adventure:
‘To those who feel far from God and the Church, to all those who are fearful or indifferent, I would like to say this: the Lord, with great respect and love, is also calling you to be a part of his people!  The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.’
It is in the light of this and being aware of our changing circumstances that the Archbishop has called for a Diocesan Synod to take place in June 2020.
In 1962 there were 264,000 people at Mass each Sunday, now that number has fallen to 47,000.  In 1962 there were over 400 priests serving the Diocese and now there are just 120.  This means that we have to be open to change.  The work of the Gospel is no less urgent, the call to make disciples has not changed, but we have to find new ways to do this in the light of our changed circumstances.  The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) invited the church to look at the signs of the times, to reflect on what they mean and to take appropriate action.  This includes a re-discovering and a re-energising of the vocation of all the baptised.

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