Sunday 17th October launched the diocesan phase of the Synod on synodality; communion, participation and mission.

Synod’s have become synonymous with the papacy of Pope Francis since becoming Pope following the resignation of Pope Benedict in 2013. Although he is the first to point out that Synod and Church have been together since the beginning as a way of being “by which the Church lives out her mission”.

Having begun the previous Sunday in Rome, where Pope Francis spoke, listened and celebrated Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, so it began last Sunday in our diocese.

Launching the diocesan phase of the Synod, Bishop David said

“We humbly ask the powerful accompaniment of the Holy Spirit. It is the work of the Paraclete to bring us into all truth. The Comforter is love in our midst, drawing us into the Charity which alone brings refreshment of life”

During the service in Northampton Cathedral, Bishop David blessed holy water and those present renewed their baptismal promises. Having listened to the word of God, the prayer of the Synod was recited, a prayer based on the prayer said before each session of Vatican ii.

At the end of the service, Bishop David commission the group responsible for leading the Synod. They are;

Canon Francis Higgins (coordinator)

Alfred Agius,

Avril Baigent,

Joan Barham

Sam Canning,

Yoofi Clarke,

Fr Andrew Coy

Fiona Inman,

Deacon Lanre Sanni ,

Canon John Udris

Richard Netherwood.

Encouraging participation in the Synod and his desire for inclusivity of all, especially those who struggle to be heard in the Church, Bishop David said

“May the work which begins here today in the Cathedral, reach out to every corner of our diocese. All must be invited to become involved. All should feel their voice is being listened to. As Pope Francis put it, ‘participation is a requirement of the faith received in baptism.’ And why are we doing all this? So that being led by the Spirit of truth, we may hear Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life, who still has much to share with us.”

Watch Bishop David’s homily here