A two-year 'synodal' process is taking place in the Catholic Church from October 2021 that culminates in the final Synod Gathering of Bishops in Rome in October 2023. The overall theme is "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission".
The Diocesan Syntheses, the ‘local’ part of the Synodal process, were submitted to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on the Friday before Holy Week as part of the two-year process requested by Pope Francis for the Catholic Church.
Now, having received each document from the dioceses, along with submissions from national Catholic organisations and other bodies, a National Synthesis Team has started work discerning and drafting the national synthesis for England and Wales that will be sent to the Synod Office in Rome by 15 August 2022.
The National Synthesis Team met from 27-28 April to begin its work so that an ‘initial findings’ report can be given to the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference that meets in Cardiff from 2 – 6 May.
The work will continue between now and 1 June when a national synod gathering of bishops and lay people who helped produce the submissions received by the Conference will take place in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark. A first draft of the national synthesis will be considered on this day.
Taking into account the reflections, thoughts and conversations in Southwark, the National Synthesis Team will continue its work and present a second draft of the national synthesis in May 2022 to an additional Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference for their consideration.
Following this meeting, to be held on 28 June in Westminster, a final draft will be presented to the Bishops for their assent for submission to Rome by the 15 August deadline.
Members of the National Synthesis Team are:
Miss Sarah Adams Director of the Department for Adult Education and Evangelisation Diocese of Clifton (Serving Wiltshire, Avon, Somerset and Gloucestershire)
Mr Dominic Belli Diocese of Menevia
Dr Austen Ivereigh Catholic journalist, author, commentator and biographer of Pope Francis
Dr Mary McCaughey Lecturer in Theology and Director of Studies St Mary’s College, Oscott
Dr Mark Nash Director of the Agency for Evangelisation and Catechesis Southwark
Rev. Jan Nowotnik Director of Mission and National Ecumenical Officer Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Sr Elaine Penrice fsp Daughter of St Paul Director of the National Office for Vocation
Rev. Canon Christopher Thomas General Secretary Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Miss Kate Wilkinson Archdiocese of Liverpool
Episcopal oversight of this work will be given by:
Archbishop John Wilson
Bishop Marcus Stock
Please find below the 'Salisbury Synodal Summary' and 12 Appendices of notes from synodal conversations and questionnaires held in January and February 2022 in the Salisbury Parishes of St Osmund’s, Holy Redeemer and St Gregory’s and the parish of Christ the King, Amesbury
On 20 November there was a gathering in Bristol to launch this process in our Diocese. All parishes in the Diocese were invited and we sent a delegation as our representatives from all three of our churches. The speakers were Bishop Declan Lang, Fr Jan Nowotnik (Director of Mission and National Ecumenical Officer at Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales) and Sarah Adams (Adult education and evangelisation department). The videos are below.