Diocesan Synod

Synods seek to inspire missionary renewal and unity within the diocesan community. In this way they contribute to the shaping of the pastoral activities of the particular Church and lend continuity to its own liturgical, spiritual, and canonical traditions. 

Diocesan Synods are important instruments of collaboration and discernment effecting conciliar renewal. 

The work of the Synod is to:

  • assist the Bishop in his office of teaching, sanctifying, and governing the Christian community
  • consult and collaborate with the diocesan community in order to build up the Body of Christ
  • discern the will of the Spirit with the diocesan community, the pastoral activities and direction, for the good of the diocese
  • foster a sense of communion and missionary renewal

The Diocesan Synod (2019-2021) was initiated by Bishop Bill Wright and was planned to be held in three sessions. The Synod invites the People of God to carefully discern together what the Spirit is saying to the Church of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and to agree on common goals and actions for the coming years.

Bishop Bill Wright died on 13 November 2021. In late November 2021, Father Greg Barker was appointed as the Diocesan Administrator, and Bishop Michael Kennedy was installed as the ninth Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle in March 2023.

Session One – Celebration – 23 November 2019 (Relational Meetings and Listening Campaign)

We have entered into a synodal process in which we are being asked to ponder:

As disciples of Christ, what needs to happen in our hearts and in our minds and in our community for us to be a Christ-centred Church that is:

  • Missionary and evangelising
  • Inclusive, participatory and synodal
  • Humble, healing and merciful
  • Prayerful and Eucharistic
  • Joyful, hope-filled and servant community
  • Open to conversion, renewal and reform


The second session of synod is open to both Delegates and Observers. The outcome of this Synod session will result in ‘Statements of Intent’ regarding desired outcomes emerging from information/data and documents gathered from the listening and dialogue phases of the Plenary Council and the first session of our diocesan synod.  

At the third session of synod, there will be voting on a variety of ‘Proposals for Action’. These proposals, if adopted, then become recommendations to the Bishop for his consideration as possible actions appropriate to the needs of the Diocese.

The COVID-19 situation and Bishop Bill’s death mean the original session planned for 20 November 2021 has been delayed. This decision was taken after consultation with the Synod Working Party, the Council of Priests, and the Council for Mission.

For more information, please read Advice – Delay – Session Three – Diocesan Synod – 20 November 2021.

More information about the Synod will be provided by Bishop Michael Kennedy in due course.

Intersessional (Research and Planning)

The following organising cycle or planning model will be used for our synodal process:

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