Synod 2023

Holy Cross Parish Synod summary of the meetings.

 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand! (Matt 11:15)

 Pope Francis has initiated a listening process for discussion in 2023 this was carried out first of all at parish level. The notes from our meetings were sent to the Diocese who have produced a document based on the feedback from all the parishes. This will in turn, be sent to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. The same process is taking place all over the world. The Synod Gathering of Bishops will be in Rome in 2023.

At Holy Cross the meetings were advertised in the newsletter and members from specific groups were personally invited by email. In November 2021, we held a face-to-face meeting attended by 19 people and two zoom meetings with 4 participants. This was unfortunately, only a very small number in comparison with the size of the parish and some groups were not represented.

At the meetings we discussed the questions provided which were relating to the three areas of Communion, Participation and Mission.


The following points were discussed :

  • What is taking place currently in the parish. Masses and all the various groups involved in these, Sacramental  preparations, the other existing groups and social events.
  • The benefits of the live stream during lockdown.
  • The impact of Father Paul’s death on the parish.
  • The importance of the Holy Eucharist.
  • Groups that we are not providing anything for, such as teenagers.
  • Whether people felt included in parish life.

 The following points and suggestions were made by all the groups:

  • To get back to pre-pandemic level of activities and look at providing  something for those who are missing out.
  • It is more difficult now to set up new groups in the parish because of the legal requirements  such as H&S, GDPR, DBS.  Some people have found these difficult to do  and  were put off from  helping out or trying to arrange anything new because of this. We need to have systems in place in the parish to help people complete the necessary requirements so they are not a barrier.


The following points were discussed :

  • How the pandemic affected parish life.
  • Encouraging people from the live stream back to Mass and the Holy Eucharist.
  • How can we help parishioners get to know one another.
  • The things we do well, such as preparation for sacraments.
  • How to  find out what skills exist in the parish and encourage people to volunteer to help with existing groups.
  • How parishioners can find out who does what in the parish and who to contact if they have a question or want to help.
  • What groups we are not reaching out to within our parish.
  • The reasons why group participation is poor .
  •  How parishioners are informed of  news and events.

The following points and suggestions were made by all the groups:

  • We need a Parish  Council  for management of the parish and support for people with new ideas, linking in with the deanery mentor and  leads for each area. The Parish Council could work on a small number of activities which can be well supported.
  • The spiritual life of the parish is lead by the Parish Priest but should involve  lay people in the liturgy and in running the parish ( eg: admin, finance , maintenance) . – some laity are already  involved  running the parish in this way but who does what  is not widely known.


The following points were discussed :

  • How we encourage and prepare people to join the Church.
  • How  we can encourage people back to the Church.
  • How  the parish is supporting adult formation.
  • The involvement of women in the Church
  • How we reach out to the local and wider  community.
  • What it means to be a missionary.
  • The difficulties being a Catholic in our current society.

The following points and suggestions were made by all the groups:

  • As a parish we are looking in.
  • Churches together in Carshalton is an important way that we reach out into the community.
  • We should be more visible in the community. Suggestions included having  a banner outside the church , an open day or a stall in the high street.
  • Follow the link for a Southwark Diocese document on Synod: