Priests of the Archdiocese are gathering to begin journeying together along the Synodal Pathway.

The second of three Pastoral Area Days recently took place at St Mary’s College, Oscott, and was attended by around 60 clergy from across the area. The first event took place in Bicester with the final one to come in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The Area Days are a chance for clergy to gather together in larger numbers – the first time since the pandemic hit – and focus on key diocesan matters.

The Synod 2023, launched in October in Rome by Pope Francis, and subsequently in dioceses across the world, is the focus of these Area Days.

We are all invited to journey together on the Synodal Pathway and our parish priests and deacons will play a key role in helping to facilitate that process.

Over the coming weeks and months they will be sharing more information with parishioners about how the Synodal process will work, what topics will be discussed and how people can get involved.

All feedback will be compiled and a document outlining the Archdiocese’s Synodal experience will be shared with the Bishops’ Conference early next year. The Synodal journey will then continue, concluding with a Synod of Bishops in Rome in 2023.

The Synod’s overall theme is ‘For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission’.

At the Area Days clergy hear from four key speakers – Professor Judith Champ and Dr Mary McCaughey, of St Mary’s College, Oscott; Fr Jan Nowotnik, a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and current Director of Mission and National Ecumenical Officer at the Bishops' Conference and Canon Paul Fitzpatrick, Episcopal Vicar and Chair of the diocesan Synodal Pathway Committee.

The talks are followed by initial group discussions on the Synod, its themes and its rollout across the Archdiocese.

It is not too early for parishioners to start thinking about the Synod and getting involved.

Please join us for two online information sessions on Monday 8 November (Fr Jan) and Monday 15 November (Dr Mary) to find out more.

Find out more about the Synodal journey

Fr Craig Szmidt, Vocations Director, and Canon Paul Fitzpatrick

Fr Jan Nowotnik

Professor Judith Champ