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Synodal Formation

For those who are interested in developing synodality in practice,



To especially equip chairs, deans and members of our deanery synodal councils we have selected some resources that may be of use in approaching the synodal process with an “open disposition” enabling each of us to play our role in discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit.


Many resources have been created recently exploring synodality, especially in relation to the Universal Synod 2021 – 2023 called by Pope Francis.  References are made to this process in many of the resources selected. These may provide a useful overview and give some practical insights into incorporating synodal practices in our own situations here in Liverpool as we implement the Pastoral Plan from our own Synod.


The London Jesuit Centre  (you may need to register with vimeo - free - to view)


The Great Project

Five 30-minute talks given by Dr Austen Ivereigh to coincide with the universal synod including reflective questions. I especially recommend the third talk - concrete examples of the synodal process; the fourth - on decision taking and decision making. 

Oxford Symposium on Synodality
This is an incredibly rich collection of the talks and interviews from the Oxford Symposium held at Campion Hall, Oxford in March 2022. It includes input from our own synod moderators: Frs Philip Inch and Matthew Nunes. I would strongly recommend the following shorts (about 10 minutes each) which highlighted some of the salient points from the longer inputs and may be most pertinent to Deanery Synodal Councils.  I would also encourage you to have a look at some of the other recordings should you have time. 

Cardinal Mario Grech

Cardinal Grech discusses the importance of both listening and speaking in the synodal process, and explores what is meant by synodal conversion.

Nick Austin SJ

In the interview he talks about the disposition of freedom and ways of recognising the genuine presence of the Spirit.

Christopher Jamison OSB
A helpful overview of synodality in practice – some practical pointers that may resonate with experiences of synodal meetings.

Giacomo Costa SJ 

This slightly longer interview addresses a range of issues, including how the synodal process can engage those who are not usually involved, or easily engaged, in Church processes. He asks the very challenging question, ‘who do we find it difficult listening to?’

All the talks are excellent, however, I would also like to recommend those given by the Canon Lawyers Fr Alphonse Borras and Prof. Myriam Wijlens if you do need to be selective. They are very much grounded in reality, and look at decision making, decision taking, consultation and integration in ecclesial governance with Dr Wijlens focussing on reform of canonical codes.



Margaret Beaufort Institute Mini Series on Synodality 


A very full overview in three YouTube lectures by Dr Peter Coughan looking at the history of the synod in Parts I and II.  In Part III Dr Coughan concentrates on Pope Francis’ implementation of the synodal process.  Each lecture is just short of an hour.



An ongoing podcast: The Church’s Radical Reform by Christopher Lamb, the Vatican correspondent of The Tablet, may also be of interest and can be accessed on SoundCloud: or on Spotify

(or wherever you get your podcasts).  Each podcast is about 20 minutes in length.

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Pastoral Development Department
Archdiocese of Liverpool, St Margaret Clitherow Centre, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA   0151 522 1040 

Illustration by Justin Malewezi 

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