Notes from the Synod meetings Dec 2021 / Jan 2022

We acknowledge this opportunity to participate in the Synod as a unique privilege in our ecclesial life.

The notes are arranged under the three given headings.
Asterisks denote frequency of occurrence: one asterisk indicates several references to this topic; two asterisks indicate constant reference throughout the meetings.


Indulging in discussion and reflective listening is radical, given the ingrained habits of decades of passive participation. How do we encourage the development of these habits and skills?

What do we do with what we have learnt?

The tool of work in the Church is the workings of the Holy Spirit, aiding discernment.

**Adult formation: The RCIA topic has come forward in every meeting: existing Catholics would like to be part of the catechumen journey or borrow from this model, to gain depth on what we believe and discover what we may not know, but should know.Incomplete catechesis seems to be an issue at every level within the Church.

We need to support each other, which requires learning how to do this – and the need to feel we are able to do so.

**The younger set reach an alienation stage with their faith journey. We need to promote the love, truth and compassion of God to them, helping them find a personal relationship with Jesus, getting to know Him one to one. Should there be a group activity at parish level aimed at the younger set that, perhaps, focuses on environmental issues? Something important to their future and our stewardship of God’s creation and which demonstrates that the Church shares their aspirations, listening and not telling?

Environmental issues should be a greater focus of our attention.

Our priests need support in many ways and must be a focus of our care.

More compassion and more reaching out is at the heart of the pilgrim journey.


Conflict resolution is needed at parish level, with a mediator or mediatory role to halt parish laity dissipation. It is not enough to think that the priest can settle all difficulties: very many skills are needed.

*Praying should be emphasised more, rather than just ‘saying’ prayers; we should explore other Catholic prayer traditions, e.g. meditation/contemplation, perhaps grouping with Sacred Heart (our nearest neighbour) to enhance the numbers of attendees. We are continually encouraged to pray, but it is necessary to learn how to pray, and the meaning of prayer, and not only to avoid magical or superstitious understanding. Few have access to spiritual direction to help build prayer life.

*It would be beneficial to do more generally with other parishes, particularly the Sacred Heart and St George’s, which are close to us.

We could explore doing more with other Christian neighbours, e.g. the Methodist church and St Bartholomew’s (Church of England). (Our Taize service is the only thing we share at the moment but we have hosted Interfaith Prayer Hour with the local Interfaith Contact Group several times).

We need a greater sense of the Word of God: in this context appreciation of Fr Alexander’s You Tube Bible Walk was expressed.

*People would appreciate a sense of openness to discussion of women’s roles and ordination within the Church.


Vatican II still has to happen; it calls us to ‘active participation’, not just within the liturgy of worship. How do we do ‘our bit’?

*What do we offer as a parish, at our local level, in areas such as social justice? Do we at St Peter’s make a difference to our locality?

Should weekday mass times be altered to be more inclusive? But we need to consider our priest and his needs.

**We need urgently to consider what we do for young people and how this could be made more engaging, taking account of the different needs of different age groups.

*We should think about ways of engaging with other local parishes (not always easy, given their very different character).

**People need to be encouraged/formed to share their belief. There is a reluctance amongst people of all ages to do this because of a great lack of confidence.

For this reason, dialogue is hard:the habit of dialogue has been too long missing for so many. We are grateful to Pope Francis for his focus on dialogue and listening.

*It would be good to find ways of linking the diocesan/national Church with the parish so common concerns can more easily be seen – i.e. be less parochial. We felt that the vast majority of parishioners knew very little about their Diocese or the Bishops’ Conference and were unaware of the huge contributions the Church makes at these levels.

There are few/no volunteers anymore. Women work. How then can we move forward?



  • Kate Williamson
  • Caroline Kelly
  • Michael Wilkinson