Synod in our Diocese

Synod timescale

Principles of listening to the listening (Handbook for the Synod 2.4)

    1. Be led by the Holy Spirit 
    2. Set aside our own agenda and short-term concerns
    3. Be positive – focus on new life and possibilities rather than seeing only problems
    4. Don’t get trapped by existing structures, but focus on the community journey and discernment
    5. Be open to wider expertise – what skills do we have in our communities?
    6. Create processes that are a common search for solutions, not a system of winners and losers
    7. Reach to the margins – who isn’t in the room?

The Synod in Northampton Dioces

‘The purpose of the Synod… is not to produce documents, but “to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to be nourished, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships… and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands.”’

Synod Preparatory Document

 In April the first phase of the universal Synod came to an end.  An extraordinary number of parishes took part, and our diocese published the Diocesan Synod Report. (link)

Bishop David has said that it is imperative that we become a Synodal diocese, so that we can listen to the Holy Spirit as we head into the future.  In Phase 2 of our process, we continue to journey together to Gospel filled community, participation and mission.  As was promised in the diocesan report, we will be establishing a series of working parties to reflect further on the main themes arising from the listening.  We will also encourage participation in this process through a series of themed webinars and in-person meetings.

This is all in tandem with parishes responding to their own local process and plans. On the Resources and Training page you will find new resources for parishes: Listening to the Listening, and our One Step challenge.  As we grow together, we become more practised at listening and speaking graciously, and discerning the Holy Spirit at work among us.

We are very excited to announce a Diocesan Assembly on 15th July 2023 to bring together all our Synod listening, and discern next steps for the future.

Contact us

The diocesan leads for the Synod process are Fr Francis Higgins and Avril Baigent.  They are joined by Joan Barham, Sam Canning, Yoofi Clarke, Fr Andrew Coy, Fiona Inman, Rick Netherwood, Deacon Lanre Sanni and Fr John Udris to form the Diocesan Synod team.

You can contact the team by email

“We are not called to be navel-gazers, but a communion of communities that looks beyond themselves and reaches out to those who do not know Jesus and the Kingdom he came to establish.”
+David Oakley, Diocesan Synod Report