Synod Submission

St Margaret Mary’s Parish SYNOD SUBMISSION: December 2020 by Shirley Sutherland, our parish’s synod member

Theme 1: All called and gifted by God

AFFIRMATIONS supported December 2020

Councils and Synodality: 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.
Safeguarding: 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.

Synod PROPOSALS supported December 2020

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.
1.13 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.
1.24 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.
1.28 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.

Proposals we submitted in November 2019 to the above theme:

  • Encourage models of collaborative leadership and ministry to look at local needs and to respond effectively as a community.
  • Ensure youth representation at all levels of Archdiocesan and Parish structures.
  • Consider a new model for training of priests: study with lay people at university and live in small houses of formation.

Theme 2: Sharing the mission of Jesus

AFFIRMATIONS supported December 2020

Mission: The Synod affirms that mission must be central in our understanding of the Church that God is calling us to be.
Catholic Social Teaching: 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.

Synod PROPOSALS supported December 2020

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.
2.11 The Synod proposes that the Archdiocese and all its parishes become Live Simply communities.
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.
2.25 The Synod proposes that there are regular, well-advertised opportunities for worship, service and socialising for young people across pastoral areas.
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.

Proposals we submitted in December 2019 to the above theme:

  • For the Archdiocese to provide and maintain a template for I.T. services to each parish, signposting links to all available support for those living with … (for example addiction, adoption, bereavement, child abuse, debt, dementia, divorce, domestic abuse etc.)
  • Develop ongoing formation based largely on the teachings of Pope Francis and also ensure catechetical programmes are reviewed/ developed by lay leaders of current firsthand implementation experience.
  • Extend clear messages of inclusive welcome via signs, websites, personal greetings, Archbishop’s communications etc.
  • Further promote, at all levels, work to share the mission of Jesus ecumenically with all religions.
  • Increase promotion/ awareness of existing CAFOD environmental initiatives (both macro and micro ideas) for more sustainable living.

Theme 3: How we pray together

AFFIRMATIONS supported December 2020

Liturgy: The Synod affirms the legitimate variety of liturgical styles in our Catholic tradition.

Communications: The Synod affirms that effective communication can be an opportunity to deepen the prayer life of people.

Synod PROPOSALS supported December 2020

3.2 The Synod proposes that we are proactive in using opportunities for ecumenical and interfaith prayer, action, and formation.
3.7 The Synod proposes that resources be found to promote good liturgical music.
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.
3.27 The Synod proposes that ways be found to support and value the sick and the housebound as praying members of our communities.
3.29 The Synod proposes that parishes find ways to involve the gifts of young people in liturgical celebration.
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.

Proposals submitted in January 2020 to the above theme

  • Hold focus days on Guided Prayer in order to facilitate the formation/continued development of parish prayer groups.
  • Advertise and promote, directly to parishes, the rich diversity of prayer styles already meeting within the diocese.
  • Build up resources available for the leading of liturgy with children and or young people in mind.
  • Develop a directory of apps and websites to encourage and guide prayer.

Theme 4: Building community, nurturing belonging

AFFIRMATIONS supported December 2020
Welcome and Inclusivity: 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.

Parish: The Synod affirms that the parish as a structure has the potential to adapt to the needs of our times.

Synod PROPOSALS supported December 2020
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.
4.8 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.
4.11 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.
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.

Proposals we submitted in March 2020 to the above theme

  • For the Archdiocese to produce templates to facilitate each Parish’ Welcome Pack documentation. Display this in Church, club, school entrances; make them available on request physically and electronically.
  • Further support the nurturing and handing on of faith by establishing a group for personal journeying: enabling all to strengthen their role within the church (parents, Youth, newly initiated …)
  • Forge new and strengthen existing parish links within Pastoral areas via shared website platforms (ideally co-ordinated by a common key person) accessible to all via each member parish website.