Father, we thank you for the love you have shown us in the gift of Jesus, your Son. We thank you for the gift of the Church, through which you show us that you are always with us and are always at work in our lives.
As we journey together to Synod 2020 help us to become the Church that you are calling us to be. May your Holy Spirit be powerfully at work among us. Strengthen each of us and guide Francis, our Pope and Malcolm, our Archbishop.
Help us to respond to the challenges of our times in new ways to bring your love to all our sisters and brothers. We make this prayer through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
The Pastoral Plan – Becoming the Church God is calling us to be
‘In June 2021 we celebrated our Archdiocesan Synod. This was a wonderful gathering (even though it had to be a Zoom gathering). It was the fruit of four years of prayer, listening, discerning and planning. The day itself, and the celebration of Mass in the cathedral the next day, made me feel very proud to be your archbishop.
The Synod considered 19 recommendations. The three that received the most votes were concerning evangelisation, lay ministry and young people. But all 19 were clearly endorsed by the people of the archdiocese. If we are to truly embrace these and all that we have learned from our journey over these years, then Christ must be our starting point and there are four issues that we must be alert to which will underpin every aspect of our pastoral plan.
There is need for us to:
- be immersed in the joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties of humanity today;
- be brave and creative in renewing local structures;
- develop leadership to attend to changing needs;
- embed synodality in every aspect of archdiocesan life.
Thinking carefully about these issues alongside all that the Synod has given us, has led me to place before you six action areas that will be our focus in the years to come.
- Becoming a Church that accompanies people through life.
- Becoming a Church that honours the vocation of all the baptised.
- Becoming a Church where synodality is embedded.
- Becoming a Church that renews its organisational structures and administers its property to serve its mission.
- Becoming a Church where young people and young adults flourish.
- Becoming a Church that cares for its priests.
This pastoral plan is to serve as the charter for implementing the fruit of Synod 2020. It begins with Christ at the centre and then points out the signposts of our journey. Then there is a detailed unpacking of the six areas of development. These six areas will evolve and be worked on in the years to come. Finally, in a concluding section, I reaffirm that “Becoming the Church God is calling us to be” is the work of the whole Church in the archdiocese empowered by the Spirit of the risen Lord.’
Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP
Archbishop of Liverpool