The Synod will take place in October 2020. The word 'synod' means 'together on the road' and Archbishop Malcolm invites each and every one of us to play our part. Members will be chosen from parishes and pastoral areas, with 500 delegates required. In February 2019 Archbishop Malcolm will hold a special service in the Cathedral to convene the Synod where these delegates will be sent out to do their work of listening and discerning together with those whom they represent – to determine our needs and concerns at this time. Most importantly, all of this work takes place under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I therefore urge you to say the Synod prayer at your meetings from now until October 2020. You may also wish to hold discussions at your meetings about the Church that God is calling us to be today, to express your hopes and fears, and speak to your Synod delegate. Please keep Archbishop Malcolm and all those involved in making the right decisions for our diocese in your prayers.
• Our pilgrimage to Belmont Abbey will take place from 5–7 April 2019. There are still places available so please contact me or our treasurer Sue Bickerstaffe if you wish to join us.
• Our first bi-monthly Mass of 2019 will be on Wednesday 9 January at 7.30pm at St Margaret Mary's. Before that, 8 December is a general Communion day, remembering our UCM intentions.
May I wish you and your families a very happy and holy Christmas, and a peaceful and healthy new year.