year of the word

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has dedicated 2020 as a year of focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’.

The word of God in scripture shapes our prayer and worship

2020 is the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini – Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’ and the 1,600 anniversary of St Jerome’s death. These dates have inspired the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to dedicate 2020 as a year of focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’. During the year, we will be celebrating, living and sharing God‘s word with an exciting new Scripture initiative. It’s an opportunity to enrich current practice and to develop and explore new ways of responding to ‘The God who Speaks’.

Year of the Word formally begins in








The initial launch will be on the feast of St Jerome, 30 September 2019, with the Year formally beginning in Advent 2019 during the Mass for the Immaculate Conception at 11am on December 7, 2019 at the Cathedral.

Bishop Peter has described the purpose of the Year in these words:

‘At heart we want to help everyone be prepared to hear the Word of God proclaimed in the liturgy.’

Each parish has been asked to commit themselves to training / refreshing those who proclaim the scriptures in the liturgy. NORES are sending all parishes a diocesan a Readers Course which it is hoped many will find useful. More copies can be obtained from them, or downloaded here: Year of the Word Readers Course.

There will be a formal commissioning of all who proclaim the word in the liturgy, on the Second Sunday of Advent 2019.

Bishop Peter is preparing a pastoral letter about the importance of proclaiming and hearing the Word in the liturgy for the First Sunday of Advent 2019.

A brand new Advent resource has been written especially for our diocese as series of daily Scripture reflections with stunning graphics, suitable for families, young people, personal use and schools. For full details click here

Timeline of events in the Year

» September 30th – National preparatory Launch on the Feast of St Jerome
» October 7th – 1.30pm at NORES – Fleur Dorrell will give the NORES LECTURE – Why are we having a Year of the Word of God?
» October/November – Parishes and all communities are encouraged to train/refresh all who proclaim the Word in our liturgy
» December 1st – The beginning of the campaign year at a national level
» December 1st – Bishop Peter’s Pastoral Letter for the Year on the First Sunday of Advent
» December 7th – 11am Cathedral – Diocesan Mass for our feast and to launch the Year within the diocese
» December 8th – Commissioning of all who proclaim the Word during the Sunday masses
» 18th January – Prof Nick King, 10-1pm, NORES
» 31st January – 2nd February – NYMO Lux Vox youth Retreat
» 6th June – WordFest and National Scripture Tour – Thornton College
» 20th June – Sprituality network day of recollection with Brother John at Turvey Abbey
» 4th – 11th October – Schools week: theme ‘God who speaks’
» 21st November – Spirituality network day of recollection: St Joseph’s, Chalfont St Peter