Synod in our Diocese

Synod timescale

Becoming a Synodal Diocese

Five guiding principles

  1. Expect the Holy Spirit’s Presence
    Come with an attitude of openness and expectancy
  2. Stand Aside from our own agenda
    Be prepared to be surprised, to learn something new, to be wrong.
  3. Tune into the divine
    Listening to and discerning the Holy Spirit during the meeting
  4. Gradualness – keeping our eyes on the long term vision, bringing everyone with us
  5. Movement towards Human Flourishing
    Do our meetings bring and share joy?

Let us not soundproof our hearts; 

let us not remain barricaded in our certainties.

Pope Francis

Find out more in the “Becoming a Synodal Parish” resource below.

Becoming A Synodal Parish

One Step Chalenge

Listening To The Listening 


How can parishes respond to their Synod process?

From November 2021 to March 2022 an army of local listeners enabled the Synod to happen on the ground in our diocese, from large-scale parish events to chats over coffee.  The next phase involved bringing together all the notes to create a parish report, and from there, the diocesan report was created.  You can find all the reports with the other resources at the bottom of this page.

After all this work, what’s next for parishes?  Pope Francis has said that it is the “path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium”.  So, rather than coming to an end, we’re only just getting started on this journey.  There are two resources for parishes to help with next steps, the Listening to the Listening session, which helps parishes revisit their parish report and plan some responses.  The second is a “One Step Challenge” in which Bishop David asks every parish to make one change based on their listening so that our diocese becomes more outward looking.

There are also a variety of agencies and departments at diocesan level, ready to support parishes as they take next steps.  These include:

For courses and help with sharing our faith, get in touch with Mission Northampton

For more resources on welcome and hospitality, see our Entertaining Angels page

For more resources and help with parish youth ministry, get in touch with NYMO

For any help with social action projects, get in touch with Caritas Northampton

To explore new forms of catechesis, especially family catechesis, contact Alex Heath

Find a range of adult faith formation resources here for parish use

Don’t forget our Lay Formation Fund which can help parishes pay for resources or speakers as well as formation for individuals


There will be workshops introducing Becoming a synodal parish and the One Step Challenge.

Contact Avril Baigent for more information about these resources, or help with the next steps for your parish.

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