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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 20 January 2019 Posted on Sunday 20 January 2019

Synod Process Begins
‘The people have spoken, now we need to figure out what they have said’! No, it’s not referring to Brexit, but was a comment after the Diocesan Assembly in Limerick in 2016, which led to their forward Pastoral Plan and priorities for the years ahead.

Our own Diocesan Synod process, to an extent, will follow some of the similar processes to that of Limerick in embarking on a journey of conversation, discernment and listening. On 3rd February there will be a Service of the Word and commissioning of Synod members to begin this process involving the whole of the Diocese which will eventually lead to a final assembly in 2020 with a set of proposals and priorities for the way ahead. The only thing that can be predicted at this stage is that it will mean a lot of work and commitment for those who will be involved. The clergy and lay people who had volunteered to be Synod members within our Pastoral Area met last Wednesday evening to meet one another and share thoughts about the things they were looking forward to and the challenges that lay ahead on this Synod journey. Over the next month members are to attend training events in ‘deep listening’ and to receive more information on what ways we are to consult and discuss within our parishes and deanery areas. There will be lots of events happening throughout the Diocese this year as the Synod process gets underway.

This Sunday afternoon at 3pm there is a joint Cathedrals Choral Evening Prayer as we begin the week of prayer for Christian Unity. Dean Sue Jones from Liverpool Cathedral will be the Guest Preacher as we come together to celebrate our common identity in Christ through our baptism.

Next Thursday Hope University are holding their Winter Graduations in the Cathedral which will take place from 12 to approximately 1.30pm. The 12.15 Mass will be celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel all week (due to exams in the Crypt) apart from the Graduation Day, Thursday, when it will take place in the Crypt Chapel.

Next Tuesday evening at 7pm the BBC are showing the episode of the Celebrity Antiques Road Trip that includes a visit to the Cathedral Crypt. This was filmed last year with Lisa Riley of Emmerdale and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ fame and the antiques expert David Harper having a walk and tour around the Pontifical and Concert Halls of the Crypt. David Harper had injured his leg and was limping around needing the support of a walking stick, decked out in a pair of colourful shorts. The producer wanted to concentrate the short piece of film as a conversation between Lisa Riley and myself but David kept getting in on the conversation, it will be interesting to see how much or little is shown and how it turns out as it had to be filmed in a hurry. Lisa Riley it turned out is catholic and had a really bubbly and lively personality and I enjoyed meeting them both so I hope they were the winners at the final auction.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean