Synod 2020

SYNOD 2020 - Parish Update April 2021


Despite the difficulties Covid 19 has created, the work of the Synod and its members has continued.


You will recall we began by addressing 4 questions in our Parish meetings. 27,000 responses were submitted across the Archdiocese and from these 4 themes were developed. Following further consultation and discernment the responses to these themes were developed into 120 proposals and 45 affirmations.


Having absorbed all the feedback on these proposals and affirmations we now have been asked to consider 19 possible recommendations of the Synod to the Archbishop. Voting on these recommendations will take place at Synod Council in June Fr. Gerry ; Deacon Gerry Fishwick and myself will be asked to carry out this task .


We are happy to take into consideration views parishioners may have on these recommendations and build them into how we choose to vote as Synod members. There are some excellent resources on the Synod 2020 website ( to help us think through the 19 recommendations. The Synod team have produced a booklet “Together on the Road” which guides us through the recommendations in a clear and thought provoking way. 

The recommendations can be viewed here:      Synod Recommendations

If, having considered the recommendations. you wish to express a view please feedback to me by 15 May. In your feedback let us know for each recommendation whether you consider it :-

a) A high priority .

b) A good idea but not at the top of my list .

c) Not the right way forward .

You may provide this feedback by responding direct via this website, or by direct contact to the email address given below.


All through the process we have tried hard to listen well and discern what we have been told in order to accurately reflect the views of our parishioners.


We feel that emerging from Synod 2020 we will develop an exciting and relevant plan for the Archdiocese over a considerable period of time in the future.


Please remember us in your prayers as we try our best to work on your behalf in this final stage of our Synod.


Martin Ainsworth, Synod Member

e-mail :


SYNOD 2020 - Parish Update January 2020

From the 20,000 contributions submitted in Stage 1 of the Synod Consultation 4 themes were discerned . We are now asked to consider these themes in turn and to produce up to 5 Parish proposals for each one . We dealt with the first 2 themes before Christmas and submitted our proposals to the Synod 2020 Office . We now have a 2 further themes to consider and then return our proposals to complete our work . The meetings have been conducted in a spirit of positive ambition displayed by the attendees . Views have at times been wide ranging and members have listened carefully to each others opinions . Our first two sets of proposals (see below ) emerged relatively easily and hopefully reflect the overall concerns and hopes of our group .


It would be lovely to have even greater numbers of Parishioners at the next set of meetings . I think all who have attended went away feeling it was a good use of their time and was important work for the future of our Archdiocese .


When all the proposals have been submitted to the Synod 2020 Office they will work with Liverpool Hope University to assemble the Archdiocesan proposals . These will be considered at a series of meetings Synod members will attend  . The final list of proposals will be published by Archbishop Malcolm taking account of the views of Synod members . The final Synod proposals will be presented to Members on 19 & 20 th June . 


The final Synod events will take place on 17 & 18th October . The action plan will then be activated and begin to impact on the life and work of all members of our Archdiocese.


The 4 Themes and St Mary’s proposals


Theme 1 - All called and gifted by God 


Our proposals ;-


  1. Review and refresh forms of communication employed by the Archdiocese and Parishes. Ensure these communications are tailored to specific audiences e.g Young people. 

  2. Build stronger and more regular contacts between Parishes and their Schools encouraging increased contributions from young people in the life and liturgy of their Church .

  3. Identify best practice within the Archdiocese of successful working structures , management models and inspirational leadership . Find effective ways to share and develop this best   practice.

  4. Explore and build better pathways into the Priesthood to foster more vocations. E.g.’s  -Apprenticeship schemes for new priests ; A specific vocational degree ; Late entry for retirees ; Part -time priests who have other jobs .

  5. Free up existing priests to perform the roles only they can carry out , creating  time for priests to be more visible in the day -to- day life of their communities

Theme 2 - Sharing the mission of Jesus


  1. Develop initiatives and projects at Archdiocese , Deanery , School and Parish levels that make positive, visible contributions to improve the environment locally and globally reflecting our love of God’s world and its people.

  2. Improve our forms of communication ensuring they project a message that is welcoming and relevant to everyone in our Archdiocese and Parishes.

  3. Explore ways of encouraging individuals to return or to start to be a new member of our Parish family . Train “Welcomers” ; Carry out a Parish Census ;”Buddying “ schemes bring the housebound and isolated to Parish services and events .

  4. Rationalise and evaluate the use and purposes Archdiocesan/ Parish Land and Property . Improve our Worship spaces to be accessible to all groups particularly young families and young people . Avoid priests living on their own. Use excess property to create affordable housing and accommodation for the homeless.

  5. Develop learning opportunities for parishioners both spiritual and temporal . Develop the confidence of members of our Archdiocese to be able to carry out the evangelical mission with confidence and knowledge .

Theme 3 - How we pray together

Proposal 1

The Liturgy/Mass - increase Youth / Family involvement by allocating tasks e.g. Welcoming; Reading; Collecting ; Offertory; Altar serving ; Music ; Projects ; Refreshments . Work with Schools to develop rotes for these tasks .

Proposal 2

Grow and develop our understanding and approaches to Prayer . Find more opportunities for us to learn and practice together . Pre- Mass prayers ; House groups ; Inter - generational groups ; with other Christians and Faiths .

Proposal 3

Discover and celebrate successful Archdiocesan/ Deanery / Parish prayer / liturgy activities and communicate them widely . e.g. Masses broadcast on- line .

Proposal 4

Develop a closer working relationship between School leaders and their associated parishes . There is a responsibility for our schools to be more boldly evangelical in enriching the Faith of our young people .

Proposal 5

Explore how we can best use our buildings , particularly our Worship spaces to enliven and make relevant the celebration of our Faith so that everyone , especially families and young people , gains engagement , enlightenment and enjoyment from Mass, Liturgy and Prayer .

Theme 4 - Building community, nurturing belonging

Proposal 1

Schools need to better inform and involve their Parishes and Vice - Versa . Increase shared events ; forms of communication ; exploit the pools of talent and experience .

Proposal 2

Carry out a Census at least at Parish level so that we know who we have in our Parish.  Find out what they can offer and what they might need . Organise opportunities for Parishioners to speak about their contributions to the life and work of the Parish so that we know more about Who , What , Where , When and Why in our Faith Family.

Proposal 3

Increase the number of Parish / School / Community events both spiritual and practical offering different ways of being involved in Parish life . e.g. Seasonal events; creative and sporting activities ; Charity/ Community projects .

Proposal 4

Improve our welcome for newcomers to our Parish and for those who have become disconnected from us . E.g.’s Train Welcomers at Mass and include Young People ; Display friendly and informative signage in Church ; Sign up sheets for newcomers ; Announce the names of newcomers at Mass .

Proposal 5

Rationalise the number of Churches that are in close proximity to one another to avoid unnecessary duplication . Organise Mass times across a district / deanery to maximise opportunities for people to find a Mass that suits their constraints and circumstances.