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Pastoral Letter

Pastoral Message for

Synod Sunday 2020

I am writing this to you today because

this was to have been the weekend of

our Synod 2020 gatherings. The

situation we are living in at the moment

has, as you know, meant that we felt it

was right to move this weekend until

June next year.

The work of the Synod has not stopped

– God is still asking us to reflect on

becoming the kind of Church he is

calling us to be and in many ways we

have been invited to do this with a new

urgency at this time.

Our Synod journey brings together the

“imperatives” of co-responsibility,

collaboration and genuine listening

between Church leaders and the lay

faithful. Synodality is an essential aspect

of Church life today. Pope Francis is

firm on Synodality as the way forward. I

am reminded of something that Pope

Benedict said in 2012:

“Lay people should not be regarded as

‘collaborators’ of the clergy, but, rather, as

people who are really ‘co-responsible’ for

the Church’s being and acting ... It is

therefore important that a mature and

committed laity be consolidated, which

can make its own specific contribution to

the ecclesial mission with respect for the

ministries and tasks that each one has in

the life of the Church.”

This is very much your role in the next

part of our Synod journey. Over 3,500

proposals were submitted – thank you.

The Synod Working Party (and others)

have worked with all these proposals

and have faithfully kept all the

proposals and ideas that you have

highlighted. They have produced a

summary which we are making

available to you this weekend. (You can

find them at synod2020.co.uk/


I need each of you to play your part in

discerning the next steps forward. At

the beginning of December each Synod

Member will have to indicate which of

the ideas and issues that they are most

drawn to. They will need your input to

do this faithfully. This will then enable

us to present to you, in March, the

Synod Proposals to be voted on in June.

After June we will work on drawing up a

Pastoral Plan in the light of the Synod

Proposals which will be promulgated at

the start of Advent 2021.

The next months are an exciting

opportunity for us all to listen again to

the voice of the Spirit of God guiding

and directing us. Please play your part,

we will not be able to complete this task

faithfully without you.

Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP

Synod President

Fr. Peter Charles Crowther obl. sbso | The Presbytery, Bury Lane, Withnell, Chorley, PR6 8SD | Tel 01254 830 995 | Reg Charity: 232709


© 2020 St Joseph's Catholic Church, Withnell. All Rights Reserved.

The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP

Archbishop of Liverpool

Archbishop’s House




God Our Father,

each person is precious to You.

You are the Giver of life.

Have mercy on us and protect us

at this time, as the Coronavirus

threatens health and life.

You are an ever-present Helper

in time of trouble.

Watch over those who are

suffering, give strength to those

who are aiding the Sick and give courage

to all in this time of anxiety.

We ask this of you in the name of your Son

Jesus Christ. AMEN.

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