Becoming the Church we are called to be

In light of current challenges and aware of the changing situations of the Church in and around Liverpool, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon decided to call a Synod of the Archdiocese.

The process began with a Year of Prayer beginning from October 2017 (as part of the preparations for the Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage Adoremus. In October 2018, with the celebration of the first Synod Sunday, it was highlighted the need to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to everyone through the life and experiences of all priests, deacons, religious and people of the Archdiocese.

The Archbishop invited the participants to discern carefully together what the Spirit is saying to the Church and to agree on common directions and actions for the future.

Each Parish and Pastoral Area has their own representation in a member of the Synod. Claire Newton is the Synod member for SFX Church whereas the parish’s Pastoral Assistant, Debbie Reynolds, is a member of the Synod working Party.

Last Sunday, 3rd February 2019, the 500 chosen and appointed members of the Synod with their friends and family were called together for a Service of Inauguration at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. The event reminded each of them to be bold and creative in the task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelisation in the Archdiocesan community with its various parish and ecclesial, religious and social communities.

Concluding his homily on the passage from the Gospel of Luke on the Presentation of the Lord, Archbishop McMahon said “the journey ahead towards Synod 2020 may seem long and arduous, and there will be many diversions and setbacks, but with the hope of Simeon and Anna in our hearts, we will come to a new vision for our archdiocese and it will be transformed into the church that we are called to be.”

At the end of the service, the Synod members were given a candle each and commissioned for their work: to be present at all the gatherings, encourage prayer, honest sharing on the questions given, listen attentively and give time for discernment.

Members will be completing information and training days so that all people will be empowered to take part in this process of prayer, sharing, listening and discernment which will shape Synod 2020.

“The Service at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was a truly wonderful occasion, with so many people attending and showing their support and desire to participate in the Synod process,” commented Debbie Reynolds.

“The high schools involved in the liturgy were tremendous! Their Elijah drama reflection was a real challenge to us all to remain firm in faith with the Holy Spirit, listen attentively to the people we meet and listen attentively to our own hearts: that’s how we will surely hear the voice of God.”

Your prayers are asked for Debbie and Claire, all the Synod members and for this journey of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.