Pope Francis called a Synod on Synodality, taking place in various phases from 2021 to 2024. There are two main aims to this. Firstly, there was a listening to the whole Church through local synodal processes that then fed up to Diocesan, National and Continental and Universal processes culminating in a final document for the universal Church. The second aim is to introduce and embed synodal processes into every level of the life of the Church.
In the Taunton Vale parishes, a team of Synod delegates took part in Diocesan sessions to prepare for the Synodal process, facilitated the process in the parishes and wrote a final parish report synthesising the contributions of parishioners. The team of delegates consisted of Ronald Bulloso, Shiny Shijo, Michaela Phimister, Buffy Forgham, Julia Tucker, Dennis Jose, Janvy Francis and Matthew Knight.
Each parish created a ‘listening wall’ where people were invited to place post it notes with their input. The parishes also produced a ‘guide for participants’ using material supplied by the Diocese and invited all parishioners to take place in a couple of listening sessions, with one taking place in Taunton and one in Wellington. Some parishioners also wrote individual submissions. The fruits of this are threefold. At one level, the contributions were synthesised into a parish report, that then went to the Diocese and thus contributed to the universal process. Secondly, the ideas that related to the parish at a local level contributed to action and pastoral planning in our parishes, with some ideas being implemented immediately and others being looked at over the longer term. Finally, the process acted as a springboard for our intention to embed synodal processes into the life of our parish.