Over the last few weeks you have heard the clergy talk about the synod. We are very pleased to launch the St Edmunds synod this weekend. Each of us is being invited to listen to each other and contribute our thoughts towards the future of The Church. We would warmly encourage you to please take part – each of us in the parish doubtless has valuable things to say. Parish consultation is based on the themes and questions prepared by the Archdiocese of Southwark and will take the form of a short survey followed by two in-person parish meetings (covid permitting), and a zoom meeting for those unable to attend an in-person meeting.
Early next week those of you who receive the newsletter via email will receive a link to a short survey that should take no longer than 10 mins to complete. We hope that by making this survey short and relatively simple a large number of you will participate in the consultation. Your survey submission will be anonymous, and the data will be submitted to Archdiocese servers which are secure. For those that do not have online access please contact the Parish Office who will be able to arrange for you to complete the survey another way. Please complete the survey by 21 November.
The survey results will be analysed and used as a basis for discussion at the Parish meetings, along with detailed open questions provided by the Archdiocese. At the Parish meetings we will break out to small groups to encourage everyone to speak and give their views.
The in-person meetings will take place in early December, dates will be in the newsletter. Please only attend one meeting so that as many Parishioners as possible can participate in the consultation process. To ensure the Parish meetings are safe from a covid perspective we will ask you to book a place at your chosen meeting. Booking details will be available nearer the time.
It is vital that we hear from a wide range of people, so please share the link with family and friends who may have drifted away from the church. Equally, if the parish meetings do not appeal, consider gathering a group of friends to discuss the questions over a coffee or a glass of wine and send us your thoughts.
The views expressed will be collated and drafted into a Parish response to the Archdiocese. We understand that after Parish submissions are made the Archdiocese may ask us to participate in a Diocesan wide listening session where we will represent the Parish views gathered from the consultation.
If you would prefer to submit your own thoughts directly to us, please email us or leave a note at the parish office. Alternatively, if you would like to submit directly to the diocese you can do so on their website.
We look forward to meeting many of you throughout the consultation period and ask for your prayers for a successful synod.
Liz Jones & Francesca Fear
St Edmunds Parish Delegates
“… We recall that the purpose of the Synod, and therefore of this consultation, is not to produce documents, but “to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands …”
Pope Francis, Address at the Opening of the Synod of Bishops on Young People (3 October 2018)