This document has been created to draw together most of the suggestions, dreams and aspirations recorded at parishes across the Diocese, in a form that may be presented later to the national authority, which will send its own response to the Roman authority. Please note that this document is a draft and is still subject to modification before the final submission. Further suggestions may be sent directly to the diocesan coordinators, Father David Cain or Mister Joe Hopkins. Here is the text from the first page of the document:
On Monday 11th October 2021 we distributed prayer cards, liturgy templates for parishes and chaplaincies in advance of a Pastoral Letter written by Bishop Patrick. World Mission Sunday marked the announcement of our first parish meetings over the next fortnight to consider what a Synod is, and how my parish/chaplaincy can contribute to the Synodal Process. Suggested questions for each parish to consider were:
1) What is my dream for the Church, for my parish/chaplaincy so that it can become more outward-looking, more missionary?
2) To achieve this dream, what do we need to stop doing? What are we doing that needs to be developed or done differently?
On Monday 1st November we then began our schools process of listening to pupils and as well as outreach through the NDCYS (Nottingham Diocesan Catholic Youth Service) for encounters with young people who are not in Catholic schools. The six parish questions were adapted to three questions. Our Clergy Deanery Meetings in November considered:
• What’s been happening in parish meetings so far; what ideas are emerging?
• Planning for the January Special Deanery Meeting: who will lead the Deanery discussion?
The November Day of Prayer for the Poor spurred the announcement of the second parish meeting to consider:
3) As a parish / chaplaincy do we know who are the people who feel marginalised or separated from the parish / chaplaincy and society?
4) How best can our parish respond? Suggest at least two identifiable ways (an immediate action and a longterm change) in which, as a parish, we will reach out to, and listen to, the marginalised or separated.
Our World Youth Funday provided an opportunity for our school communities to celebrate their connectedness with schools and young people around the world, recognising that the Holy Spirit brings us all together in the Church as a single family of God. The First Sunday of Advent marked the announcement of third parish meeting to consider:
5) How do I hear and respond to the voice of God’s Holy Spirit, in my life; what signs of the Spirit at work do I see in the life of my parish/chaplaincy?
6) What steps may the Holy Spirit be calling us to take, as a parish/chaplaincy, on our journey together into God’s future?
On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord we announced special deanery meetings open to delegates (lay, religious and clergy) from each of the deanery parishes to enable each parish / chaplaincy to share two actions it has decided upon; this will be followed by a time of prayerful discernment; then discussion and agreement on what as a deanery we can do better together, rather than separate, to enable more fruitful dialogue with the wider community (ecumenically, with other faiths, in charitable outreach and with civic bodies).Nottingham Diocesan draft synodal response, page 1