The next phase of synthesising the responses for the final report has now begun according to Deacon Huw Williams, who is part of the Synodal Pathway diocesan team. He said: “We would like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to the synodal pathway process. We received 1031 responses via the online survey, which is a wonderful result.’
A Diocesan meeting is planned for Saturday May 14, 11am to 3pm, at the Cathedral in Norwich to which all parish priests and parish coordinators are invited. More details about the format of the meeting will follow in due course.
In February, Caritas East Anglia held two online events as its contribution to the Pathway. Caritas Development Worker Jacinta Welch made contact with various groups and spoke on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and BBC Radio Norfolk about the events.
Jacinta said: “The Vademecum – the handbook for the Synod – repeatedly instructs us to seek out and listen to those on the margins. Jesus puts those on the margins at the centre of His ministry and Pope Francis speaks of them being the centre of the Church. It was with this in mind that Caritas worked to reach out to these children of God – our sisters and brothers in Christ.”
Bishop Alan Hopes recorded a welcome for those attending and Dr Austen Ivereigh gave an introduction to Synodality and explained what Pope Francis is asking of us in this ‘Synod on Synodality.’
“We welcomed people who felt they are on the margins of the Church, alongside people who were unable to join parish events,” said Jacinta. “We prayed together, listened to one another and reflected on what we had heard. All were then encouraged to complete the Diocesan Synod Survey.
“As the Spirit moved hearts and minds, a wide range of topics were covered, a report of which has been submitted to the Diocesan Synodal Pathway Team for inclusion in the Diocesan Report.
Feedback after the events was very positive. One participant said: “Thank you for organising the recent consultation. I appreciate the effort that Caritas East Anglia are making to engage with those who no longer regularly attend church.”
Jacinta said: “As we move towards being a Synodal Church, may we as a diocese continue to reach out, to welcome, listen to and support the poor and the marginalised, so all God’s children are at the table.”