When he became Pope in 2013 Pope Francis issued a challenge to the whole church. It was in the form of an Apostolic Exhortation called ‘The Joy of the Gospel’. He invited us all to have a daily encounter with Christ who changes lives and to have the courage to take up the call of Jesus to be missionary disciples. He said that our parishes were the places where this could happen as long as we were prepared to renew what we do. Pope Francis wrote:
‘I dream of a “missionary option”, that is a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.’
Pope Francis invites everyone to be part of this adventure:
‘To those who feel far from God and the Church, to all those who are fearful or indifferent, I would like to say this: the Lord, with great respect and love, is also calling you to be a part of his people! The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.’
It is in the light of this and being aware of our changing circumstances that the Archbishop has called for a Diocesan Synod to take place in June 2020. Leyland Saint Mary's Parish Church is supporting and taking an active role in preparing for Synod 2020 and within school both our Faith in Action Team and our Mary's Missionaries Team are currently looking at ways to prepare too!