After all the Synod votes were counted and considered the next step was a meeting with the Archbishop, his Council and the Pastoral Plan Group. This took place in Leeds last week. During the week the votes on the 19 Recommendations took centre stage. These votes, the Synod Themes and the 27,000 contributions to the listening stage were allowed to direct and speak to the development of ideas for the Pastoral Plan. Alongside this the prayer and liturgy each day insured our thoughts and plans. At the centre of this was Christ himself whose light was shed on our Synod and on the realities of the world in which we are called to minister and live.

It was a hard week but one full of energy and life. By the Thursday a way forward was beginning to emerge. It is challenging but also life-giving and most of all faithful to Christ experienced through the discernment that has been our pattern of working throughout the whole Synod journey.

The ideas – and there were many of them – have surfaced. The next stage is for a writing group to gather and try to present what has emerged in a way that we can put into place and make a difference. The Archbishop and his Council will review the Plan and, with the Pastoral Plan Group, will work out how to rollout the Plan towards sharing it with the rest of the Archdiocese at the end of November.

For the response to several queries regarding the Synod and its recommendations, please refer to