We would like to invite you all to take part and join us on the next exciting stage of our Synod journey.
Between now and 07 December we will be collecting data from you, the parishioners to put forward to the Synod Team.
Please see below the affirmations and proposals that have been discerned from what you the parishioners have said.
Under each of the 4 Theme headings , your responses have been broken down into categories . Under each of these (highlighted) category headings there is an affirmation, followed by the proposals . We are asking that you please take a little time to pray and ponder the proposals and affirmations and select the 5 proposals and 2 affirmations you are most drawn to for each of the four themes (total 20 proposals and 8 affirmations - by 07 December 2020).
You can submit your proposals/affirmations via email or telephone to your Synod members, Emer and Anne on ;
From this information you will have given us, your Synod members will choose 5 proposals for each theme and 2 affirmations to put forward on behalf of the parishioners of St Cecilia’s and St Matthews to the Synod Working Party.
The information you share with us, in December, will then be discerned by the Synod Working Party to produce the final list of Synod proposals which will be presented to you in March 2021.
We ask that you continue to keep the Synod in your prayers.
Anne and Emer
Theme 1: All called and gifted by God Link below
Councils and Synodality
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the value of collaborative and synodal leadership within our communities and the widely held desire that synodality be lived at every level of local governance.
1.1 The Synod proposes that, for transparent and collective decision making to be enabled, parish pastoral councils be established in each parish with clear terms of reference as given by Archbishop Malcolm.
1.2 The Synod proposes that clear roles are established for lay people so that, regarding decision making and development of parish life, neither the burden nor the responsibility falls to the priest alone.
1.3 The Synod proposes that pastoral area forums, involving a diversity of participants, are established in order to inspire and inform effective collaboration and strategic decision making in pastoral areas.
1.4 The Synod proposes that, in the light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, an ongoing review be established to see what lessons must be learned.
1.5 The Synod proposes that Synod 2020 should be cancelled
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the concern of the people of the Archdiocese that governance at local and diocesan level be accountable, transparent, and inclusive.
1.6 The Synod proposes that, at all levels of governance, those with the responsibility of decision making do so in an open, honest, and transparent way that consults and respects the views of affected communities.
1.7 The Synod proposes that, at all levels of governance, good stewardship of finances must include accountability to the People of God.
1.8 The Synod proposes that structures of governance are constituted in a way that reflects and represents the diversity of the People of God.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the outpouring of love and compassion for those who feel marginalised or excluded from the Church.
1.9 The Synod proposes that we work to remove the physical, linguistic, emotional and cultural barriers that prevent people from fully living their baptismal vocation by developing training programmes to combat unconscious bias within structures and communities.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the value of lay ministers in serving, supporting, challenging, strengthening, and empowering local communities.
1.10 The Synod proposes that parish and pastoral area communities should be able to benefit from professional lay ministers (including but not restricted to pastoral associates and youth workers) working in collaboration with clergy and volunteers to support the vocation of all the baptised.
1.11 The Synod proposes that the giftedness of all the faithful is recognised, valued, nurtured, and given opportunity to flourish within governance structures, formation initiatives, and leadership roles.
1.12 The Synod proposes that the Archbishop appoint suitably trained and commissioned lay people to administer the Sacrament of Baptism when the need arises.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the need for good and accessible programmes of adult faith formation.
1.13 The Synod proposes that adult faith formation in the Archdiocese focuses on the development of good quality resources that meet local needs and are easily adaptable to particular circumstances.
1.14 The Synod proposes that adult faith formation opportunities are provided to help adults to grow in their own faith. In the light of our COVID-19 experiences, we must not underestimate the value of online formation.
1.15 The Synod proposes that adult faith formation focuses on the training of trainers to deliver the formation locally.
1.16 The Synod proposes that increased resources be allocated to young adult ministry and pastoral formation for those in the 18-30 age group.
Affirmation The Synod affirms the invaluable contribution of women to the life and mission of the Church and recognises that many feel this contribution is not sufficiently valued.
1.17 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese initiate a process that ensures women are equal, valued, visible and heard.
Affirmation The Synod affirms that the people of the Archdiocese find joy when children and young people are visible and active in our worshipping communities. We yearn to be a place where more young people find belonging, meaning, and purpose.
1.18 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese works to understand and challenge the linguistic, emotional, and cultural barriers that prevent young people from full participation.
1.19 The Synod proposes that reflection is needed on the needs of young people in our communities in order to develop an appropriate response.
1.20 The Synod proposes that schools and parishes work to find creative and accessible ways in which young people have an active voice in the synodal structures of our parishes and pastoral areas.
Affirmation -The Synod affirms that by virtue of our baptism all are called and gifted and that God has a purpose for each of us.
1.21 The Synod proposes that the lay vocation is truly valued and that the voice of lay people is heard in a more structured way.
1.22 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese commits to the promotion of the vocation of all the baptised and a culture of discernment of specific callings within that.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that there is a great love, appreciation, and valuing of priests, deacons, and seminarians of the Archdiocese who continue to generously respond to God’s call.
1.23 The Synod proposes that there is a more open, transparent, and accountable process for selecting candidates for seminary that seeks and respects informed views from the People of God.
1.24 The Synod proposes that seminary training takes place within the Archdiocese with studies being undertaken at local universities and seminarians living in local houses of formation.
1.25 The Synod proposes that a robust programme of ongoing formation is developed for the wellbeing of priests and deacons, that meets their spiritual, intellectual, practical, and mental health needs.
1.26 The Synod proposes that a regular review of ministry for each bishop, priest and deacon is put in place as an integral part of on-going formation and accountability.
1.27 The Synod proposes that priests live in community for their care and support.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that keeping children and vulnerable adults safe from harm and being a safe haven for those who may be vulnerable are key concerns for the people of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
1.28 The Synod proposes that “Safeguarding” is a standing agenda item at every parish council meeting and that the Archdiocesan Safeguarding Team lead on informing what key thematic issues need to be considered during a year.
Affirmation - the Synod affirms that there is a need for parishes to support one another as communities of faith and share good practice.
1.29 The Synod proposes that pastoral areas develop and implement strategies for more effective communication and collaboration between parishes including the sharing of resources and good practice.
Schools and Education
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the privileged position and valuable role our Catholic schools have in the faith development and vocational discernment of our young people.
1.30 The Synod proposes that lay chaplaincy within our schools is strengthened and promoted with a clear and well-defined career path, pay scale, and development structure that supports the recruitment and retention of qualified, enthusiastic, and experienced people.
1.31 The Synod proposes that innovative ways be found to create links between school and parish and that this collaboration is appropriately supported.
1.32 The Synod proposes a thorough review of the RE syllabus.
1.33 The Synod proposes a review takes place of what it means to be a Catholic school particularly in reference to staffing.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that there is a great concern that some of our buildings are underused, empty, or neglected and that these resources could be better used in serving the needs of the People of God.
1.34 The Synod proposes that pastoral area communities are supported, encouraged, and empowered by the Archdiocese to reflect on their needs and the needs of their wider community to inform the appropriate use of buildings.
Theme 2: Sharing the mission of Jesus Link below
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that we are passionate about sharing with all people the Good News of the saving power of Jesus.
2.1 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese develop a new framework for evangelisation to include (but not restricted to) a bespoke Archdiocesan course for evangelisation and to ensure that our preparation and celebration of sacraments makes the most of the opportunity to evangelise.
2.2 The Synod proposes that each parish, in collaboration with neighbouring parishes, undertakes an annual programme of evangelisation/mission.
2.3 The Synod proposes that there is a review and reform of the catechetical processes of the Archdiocese to better suit the faith development needs of our age.
2.4 In the light of COVID-19 we have discovered a new depth of what Eucharist means. The Synod proposes that programmes of sacramental formation are adapted to reflect this.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that mission must be central in our understanding of the Church that God is calling us to be.
2.5 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese heed the call of Pope Francis to be brave and courageous in renewing structures so that they are at the service of mission rather than self-preservation.
2.6 The Synod proposes that there should be a review and reconfiguration of the pastoral area structure.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the value of formation so that people are able to play their part in the mission of evangelisation.
2.7 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese reviews how it offers formation and Catholic teaching for life, from the cradle to the grave.
2.8 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese provides opportunities for conversations about aspects of church teaching that some people find difficult.
2.9 In the light of the Archdiocese becoming increasingly multicultural and ethnically diverse the Synod proposes that this is reflected in the way religious education and formation is delivered.
Catholic Social Teaching
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the value of the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching and the call for this to be lived more fully in the day-to-day life of the Archdiocese.
2.10 The Synod proposes that, in order to form the faithful for practical action, resources are developed that allow Catholic Social Teaching to be an integral part of formation, catechesis and homilies.
Care of Creation
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the clear teachings from successive popes and the prophetic voice of our young people calling us to put care for creation at the forefront of our mission.
2.11 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese and all its parishes become Live Simply communities.
2.12 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese works towards a renewed understanding of Laudato Si’.
2.13 The Synod proposes that every school and parish community develop and implement a five, ten and fifteen year environmental plan based on the principles of Laudato Si’.
2.14 The Synod proposes that care for creation should be a standing item on parish council agendas.
Love of Neighbour
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that we are moved with compassion by the suffering of the poor, weak, marginalised, lonely, and vulnerable in our society.
2.15 The Synod proposes that pastoral areas or clusters of parishes work together to reflect on the needs of the communities they serve, the support available and effective responses.
2.16 The Synod proposes that, following on from lessons learnt and the experiences lived at the time of the pandemic, the parishes of the Archdiocese should always be at the forefront of reaching out to those in most need.
2.17 The Synod proposes that every parish be committed to having some form of social welfare group or action.
2.18 The Synod proposes a more strategic approach to charitable giving and fundraising with each pastoral area selecting a charitable cause to support each year.
2.19 The Synod proposes that we find ways, at Archdiocesan, parish, and individual level, to humbly and honestly look at racism in the Church.
Use of Resources
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that in the Archdiocese of Liverpool there is a wealth of resources available and that these are most valuable when shared for the benefit of all.
2.20 The Synod proposes that, within some of the large pastoral areas, clusters of parishes are established in order to share skills, resources, and best practice.
2.21 The Synod proposes that, when the temptation to focus on local needs is great, we never forget the greater needs elsewhere.
Use of Buildings
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that our buildings are a huge resource that are, in places, underused and should be used more flexibly in service of mission and evangelisation.
2.22 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese, in collaboration with local communities and ecumenical partners, undertake a systematic and innovative review of the buildings we have in our parishes with a view to their better use to serve the mission of the Church.
Affirmation- The Synod affirms the power and opportunities of new communications technology to enrich our mission of evangelisation.
2.23 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese develops a new communication and media strategy that enables people to learn, be informed, communicate and evangelise.
2.24 In the light of COVID-19 people have discovered the power of creative online ministry. The Synod proposes that a working party of priests and laity is established to further develop creative online ministries for our Archdiocese.
Children & Young People
Affirmation - The Synod affirms children and young people as valued members of the community.
2.25 The Synod proposes that there are regular, well-advertised opportunities for worship, service and socialising for young people across pastoral areas.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that there is a need for parishes to support one another as communities of faith and share good practice.
2.26 The Synod proposes that the links between schools and parishes are strengthened to better serve the mission of the Church.
2.27 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese review the teaching of the Catholic Faith in our schools.
Groups and Societies
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the great value that many people find in groups and sodalities within the Church.
2.28 The Synod proposes that in each pastoral area there be opportunities available to belong to small groups for formation, prayer, socialising and action.
Theme 3: How we pray together Link below
Opportunities for Prayer
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the variety of opportunities for prayer that exist and need to be developed.
3.1 The Synod proposes that each parish provides opportunities outside the celebration of Mass for people to gather in prayer.
3.2 The Synod proposes that we are proactive in using opportunities for ecumenical and interfaith prayer, action, and formation.
3.3 The Synod proposes that traditional devotions, which have nurtured people in ages past, be renewed for our age.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the legitimate variety of liturgical styles in our Catholic tradition.
3.4 The Synod proposes that across the Archdiocese there is access to a variety of liturgical styles and celebrations.
3.5 The Synod proposes that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite be more widely available.
3.6 The Synod proposes that we use the opportunities the liturgy provides for silence.
3.7 The Synod proposes that resources be found to promote good liturgical music.
3.8 The Synod proposes that more value be placed on the need for beauty in our liturgy, in the way it is celebrated and in the liturgical environment.
3.9 The Synod proposes that the Archbishop asks the Bishops’ Conference to review the current translation of the Roman Missal.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the need for good liturgical formation for all.
3.10 The Synod proposes that there be developed an Archdiocesan programme of liturgical formation for all the People of God.
3.11 The Synod proposes that we develop our appreciation of the importance of celebrating Mass well.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the importance of spiritual formation and accompaniment at each stage of the faith journey.
3.12 The Synod proposes the creation of a Spirituality Department in the Archdiocese which provides resources to serve the needs of parishes.
3.13 In the light of COVID-19, people have a renewed understanding that the Church is the people not the buildings. The Synod recognises that home is a holy place and proposes that resources are provided to support and develop the domestic Church.
3.14 The Synod proposes that an annual retreat is offered in each pastoral area.
3.15 The Synod proposes that in order to train and support spiritual directors we work in collaboration with the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool in their programme of spiritual direction and accompaniment.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the variety of roles and ministries in the celebration of liturgy.
3.16 The Synod proposes that the gifts of lay people be used more fully in the celebration of the liturgy.
3.17 The Synod proposes that the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion be restricted to cases of actual necessity.
3.18 The Synod proposes that Services of the Word and Communion be reserved for Sunday in the absence of a priest.
3.19 The Synod proposes that on weekdays, when Mass is not celebrated, a variety of services should be provided, e.g. Divine Office, Rosary and novenas.
The Role of the Celebrant
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that a well-prepared celebrant is crucial for good liturgical celebrations.
3.20 The Synod proposes that a systematic programme of liturgical formation be developed for all celebrants.
3.21 The Synod proposes that because of the importance of the homily in the liturgy a programme of on-going formation in preaching for priests and deacons be developed.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that parishes collaborate with each other as no one parish can meet every need.
3.22 The Synod proposes that in each area there should be a Shrine Church which will become a hub for the daily celebration of Mass and confession and will be open all day, every day.
3.23 The Synod proposes that, by collaborating in local clusters, parishes will work imaginatively in sharing resources and in providing a widespread of times for Mass and other services.
3.24 The Synod proposes that when a priest is on holiday Mass is not celebrated in the Church(es) where he normally celebrates Mass.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the life of every baptised person and recognises that many Catholics rarely or never celebrate this sacrament.
3.25 The Synod proposes that we are creative in how we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
3.26 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese develops a programme of formation for adults and children for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Sick and the Housebound
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that the sick and the housebound can be a powerhouse of prayer within our parishes.
3.27 The Synod proposes that ways be found to support and value the sick and the housebound as praying members of our communities.
Schools and Young People
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the place of schools in the prayer life of the parish community.
3.28 The Synod recognises that all schools are privileged places for the teaching of prayer and proposes that they be supported in this ministry.
3.29 The Synod proposes that parishes find ways to involve the gifts of young people in liturgical celebration.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that effective communication can be an opportunity to deepen the prayer life of people.
3.30 The Synod proposes that the opportunities afforded by social media are effectively utilised and all parishes are supported in producing and maintaining their digital profile.
3.31 The Synod proposes the development of an effective communications strategy at the service of prayer and mission.
3.32 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese supports every parish in providing live streaming of liturgy.
Theme 4: Building community, nurturing belonging Link below
Welcome and Inclusivity
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the principle that churches and parishes are places of welcome and inclusion and that by welcoming a diversity of people we will be enriched by their gifts.
4.1 The Synod proposes that emphasis should be placed on making our churches and parishes welcoming and inclusive, that parishioners need training in the Ministry of Welcome and that the welcome we give must be inclusive of all.
4.2 The Synod proposes that all our buildings be reviewed to ensure that they are accessible and equipped for a range of needs.
4.3 The Synod proposes that an Archdiocesan ministry to the LGBTQI community be developed.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that the parish as a structure has the potential to adapt to the needs of our times.
4.4 The Synod proposes that deacons and/or lay people be given a share in the pastoral care of some parishes under the direction of an appointed priest.
4.5 The Synod proposes that parishes exercise proper, transparent and honest stewardship and accountability.
4.6 The Synod proposes that a review be undertaken to see how our buildings can be used to more effectively support community life.
4.7 The Synod proposes that episcopal visitations be developed as the opportunity to promote and monitor pastoral planning and its implementation.
4.8 The Synod proposes that parishes find a way to keep up-to-date records of parishioners in order to be able to reach out in times of need.
4.9 The Synod proposes that, in the light of what we have learned through COVID-19, each parish develops an emergency response plan.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that Catholic schools are a great resource but do not always achieve their potential in handing on the Catholic Faith.
4.10 The Synod proposes that the whole Catholic community be invited to share in developing a renewed understanding of what Catholic schools are about and what a Catholic education is.
4.11 The Synod proposes that there be more collaboration and interaction to enable the strengthening of the home/school/parish partnership by using innovative ways of sharing faith, sharing gifts and resources and enabling joint projects.
Children and Young People
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the valuable work being done in some places in developing the faith of young people.
4.12 The Synod proposes that new ways of enabling parents to hand on faith to their children be established, recognising the many challenges this presents.
4.13 The Synod proposes further development of peer to peer youth ministry as a way of affirming young people as valued members of the church.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the importance of each parish forging strong links with those who are sick, lonely, isolated, or marginalised.
4.14 The Synod proposes prioritising the needs of those who feel on the margins of society.
4.15 The Synod proposes that each parish develops its ministry to the elderly, the sick, the housebound and the lonely.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the variety of ways in which people express their belonging to the Catholic community, including pilgrimages, outings, membership of groups and social activities.
4.16 The Synod proposes that opportunities to belong to supportive and formative small groups, such as family groups and sodalities, be developed so that they become the essential building blocks of parishes.
4.17 The Synod proposes that ways of developing our sense of belonging and community should be part of the regular activities of every parish.
4.18 The Synod proposes that each pastoral area should adopt a charity or project for a specific period of time that enables all members of the community to be involved.
Affirmation -The Synod affirms that ecumenical dialogue and activity is essential for the Catholic community.
4.19 The Synod proposes that our parishes turn outwards, joining with other churches, faith communities, charities, and other organisations to serve the local community.
4.20 The Synod proposes that we engage with renewed enthusiasm in the ecumenical journey at every level.
Local/Pastoral Area Organisation
Affirmation - The Synod affirms that structures are at the service of the mission of the church.
4.21 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese should review the numbers and locations of churches required for its mission.
4.22 The Synod proposes that pastoral area boundaries be reviewed.
4.23 The Synod proposes that small clusters of parishes be encouraged to enable more effective working together.
Affirmation - The Synod affirms the importance of effective communication.
4.24 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese should provide support to all parishes in the use of technologies for communication and for outreach.
4.25 The Synod proposes that a new Communications Department be created to facilitate and promote the use of both traditional and modern media towards more effective communication, evangelisation, and outreach.
4.26 The Synod proposes that, in developing future communication strategies, consideration is given to those who are unable to access online provision.