Bishop John presents a woman with Synod Member certificate and resources

Diocesan Synod enters next phase with commissioning service

Wednesday 6th September 2023

More than 100 people from across the diocese gathered together last weekend for a special service to commission members of our 28th Diocesan Synod.

The congregation comprised priests, deacons, religious, and lay faithful who have agreed to act as representatives of their parish communities throughout our two-year synodal journey.

These representatives – called Members – will work to coordinate parish responses to our diocesan synod, as we come together to prayerfully consider the needs of our community today and understand more about how God might be calling us to respond.

During the service, Bishop John reminded the members of the importance of prayer throughout the process, urging them to listen carefully to each other, the needs of our wider diocesan community, and to the Holy Spirit, to help us apply unchanging Gospel values in our time.

Bishop John ended by asking the congregation not to forget our simple but powerful diocesan prayer as we move forward with the Synod: “Stay with us, Lord, on our journey.”

Photo of diocesan members gathered for commissioning service

The Big Listen

Our newly-commissioned members will now help to deliver the first key stage of our Diocesan Synod to parishes across the diocese.

Named “The Big Listen”, this formative stage is all engaging with as many people as possible – whether in our pews or our wider diocesan community.

Taking place from mid-October 2023 to January 2024, our members will lead Listening Sessions in our parishes and deaneries to facilitate prayerful, thoughtful discussion on our diocese today, what our challenges are, what our strengths are, and how God might be calling us to grow and develop as a Church to meet the needs of a 21st-century society.

Further information on these sessions will be announced in due course and we ask you to share details of these with others to help us collect a wide-range of responses.

How do I get involved?

If you would like to find out more about how to get involved with our Diocesan Synod, please speak to your parish priest or local Synod Member, and keep updated by visiting

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