By Father John Deeny, Diocese of Plymouth Synodal Journey Coordinator

The word ‘Synod’ comes from two Greek words meaning on the path, road or way together. Pope Francis has just opened a two-year Synodal Journey with three phases (diocesan, continental, universal) of consultations and discernment, culminating with an assembly in October 2023 in Rome. Bishop Mark’s pastoral message for the weekend of 9/10 October sets out more details.

Let me tell you where we are up to (as of mid-October 2021):

We have two Synodal Journey coordinators – me and Deborah Fisher (Caritas Manager) supported by a working group  of Clergy and Lay people, men and women from across the Diocese who bring a huge wealth of experience and insight into planning our Synodal Journey. This working party have been meeting every two weeks to plan and prepare for the coming months, but will also be calling on others to support us with their expertise and knowledge.

Our local listening phase will take place over the coming months, starting with a Liturgy led by Bishop Mark at the Cathedral at 4pm on Sunday 17th October. All are welcome to attend.

We will be offering a presentation on our Synodal Journey later this month and there are two options to join this online meeting. Everyone is warmly invited to attend:

Wednesday 20th October from 7-8.30 pm [register here]


Saturday 23 October from 10.30-12.00 noon [register here].

You can also register via email to

By early November, we will circulate a short booklet which will include  scripture, reflections and guidance on engagement to support parishes in their Synodal journey.

We will be sending information to parishes and schools about the processes we are putting in place and the resources that will be available. Any communications about this should be sent