An introduction from Bishop Philip

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Our Synod Journey

We were pleased to be involved in this process in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Bishop Philip invited everyone across the diocese to participate.

The Diocese of Portsmouth has undertaken a lengthy period of listening and discernment over the last two years, in order to develop a long-term plan of spiritual renewal.

During 2020 an extensive survey was undertaken ‘A Thousand Voices: The views, hopes and fears of the lay faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth’ was published in June 2021. Pastoral area and Deanery reviews were completed in November 2021 and further engagement of the laity via meetings with the Bishop has been ongoing since January 2022. The Synod has provided further opportunity for development of the themes that have emerged from the earlier work. 


In the 2020/21 Survey “1000 Voices” 1,775 respondents from across the Diocese shared more than 40,000 comments describing their personal experience of church life. The majority of participants were aged 61 and over and 88% identified as white British / European or of Indian origin.

These statistics gave us a clear mandate to hear from those who did not participate in the diocesan survey and so we actively and deliberately encouraged those groups not represented in the survey to participate in the consultation phase of the synodal journey. We received feedback from all Universities across the Diocese; from 19 Primary Schools and 13 Secondary Schools (which includes responses from staff, students, and their families).

To further encourage the younger members of the Diocese to participate, many parishes ran synod reflection sessions with their Confirmation groups too. Synodality, a journeying together, requires a companion. The emphasis on communion, mission and participation meant that lone, individual responses to the ten thematic nuclei was not encouraged.

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Download The Diocesan Synod Report

BoP Synod Submission (17 April 2022)