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icon 'new' animated SYNOD 2021 - 2023

Communion | Participation | Mission

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Walking Together: a Synodal Journey for 2021-23, begins in the parish in Advent.

Synod 2021 - 2023

Pope Francis has invited the entire Catholic Church around the world to take part in a listening journey. This is a process of discernment under the guidance of the Holy Spirit which will form the agenda of the Synod of Bishops in 2023.

As a church, we are being asked to reflect on how we respond to today's problems and needs, and upon how we become a listening Church. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Plymouth is starting its listening journey in Advent and will be gathering views and responses through to February 2022.

The Church are invited to gather with facilitators in groups or individually, to listen to the Lord in our hearts, and then speak openly with each other. We are invited to listen to each other from our hearts, not to respond or solve particular issues or concerns, but simply to discern and listen to the Holy Spirit. Responses will be gathered in the parish, passed on anonymously to the Diocese, and ultimately, the Vatican.

Anthea and Ruth, the Synod facilitators for Penzance, will be holding meetings over four weeks starting on 22nd November, and you are all invited. The meetings will be held at the church on Monday evenings at 7pm, and Thursdays after the 10AM Mass, for about an hour. Jenny and Sophie are the Synod facilitators in Hayle, will be holding regular meetings after Tuesday morning Mass, starting on 23rd November.

The Diocese have provided us with many interesting questions and ideas for meeting and journeying together. Please find a pdf booklet with the guidance and questions for each week of Advent here

Please find pdf of guidance and ground rules for the meetings here. These will be explained further in meetings.

Your facilitators are:


Anthea Smith 07530168663: email:

Ruth Baigent 07989784266: email:


Jenny Hollow 01736 754666

Sophie Makhlouf 07949914513 email:

Please do talk to us if you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, or would like to know more. We look forward to hearing from you.


Meetings are in Penzance for an hour at 7pm on Monday evenings and after Thursday morning Mass. 

In Hayle on Tuesdays after morning Mass.

Leaflets will be provided for each week.

There will be other opportunities offered to meet and talk, which can be arranged by telephone and email, or feedback to us anonymously via our parish Synod feedback form.


Message from Bishop Mark: A two-year ‘synodal’ process is taking place in the Catholic Church from October 2021 that culminates in the final Synod Gathering of Bishops in Rome in October 2023. The overall theme is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission”. Pope Francis will open the Synodal Journey in Rome on 10th October. We will be launching our diocesan phase on Sunday, 17th October with Mass in our Cathedral. 

This will be followed with an online gathering to introduce the Synodal journey. (Watch: “Behind the global synod: why Pope Francis wants you to speak boldly and listen carefully.” with Austen Ivereigh on 16 November video link)

The first phase of the Synodal Process is a time of listening in local churches. We propose that this phase takes place in parishes during the Season of Advent. The aim is to foster as broad a consultation as possible, reaching out to integrate the voice of the poor and the excluded, and not only engaging those who have some role or responsibility within the local parish. Our Diocese has already started its Synodal journey through some discussions and submissions made through ‘A Precious Place of God’s Grace’ and we will build on what has been shared so far.

Each parish will have scope to adapt the listening phase to local circumstances and guidance and resources will be provided. The process will culminate in a Diocesan pre-synodal meeting in February/March 2022.

We hope that everyone will take part in this opportunity to have a say in our future Mission.

Bishop Mark also writes: ‘I encourage you to fully engage with this important process in the life of the Church, locally and universally, so that we can all be more effective missionary disciples. Very important is our prayer to the Holy Spirit so that we listen to what God is saying to us, as well as listening deeply to what we are saying to one another. May the Holy Spirit guide us on this journey together and give us a share in God’s wisdom and understanding.’ 

Prayer for the Synod: We stand before You Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name. With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it. We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions. Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right. All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time in the communion of the Father and the Son forever and ever. Amen.

LINKS: For further information please use the external links links below

Diocesan Pastoral Message from October

icon 'new' animated From Plymouth Diocese: Walking Together: The Process | Key Documents | FAQ's

icon 'new' animated The Diocese was joined online by Austen Ivereigh on 16 November to explore the topic: “Behind the global synod: why Pope Francis wants you to speak boldly and listen carefully.” video

icon 'new' animated Bishop's Conference Synod page and their FAQ's page

icon 'new' animated An explanatory video from the Catholic Church England and Wales is here. (Description: Pope Francis has invited the whole Catholic Church to question itself on what's called "synodality". It's an important theme in the life and mission of the Church - especially over the next two years. But what exactly is synodality and what does it mean for Catholics in England and Wales? Fr Chris Thomas, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and Father Jan Nowotnik, Director of Mission, discuss the process and explain this invitation to communion, participation and mission.)

icon 'new' animated Plymouth Diocese Synodal Journey - Walking Together Service: video 

icon 'new' animated Austen Ivereigh on Pope Francis' vision for a synodal church video | talk

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