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
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
A PRAYER IN TIME OF DANGER
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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