Pastoral Plan

Let us pray for the church that it may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform itself in the light of the Holy Gospel

Archdiocese Synodal Council Meeting and Report - November 2023

The ASC report is available to read and download below. It comes in two parts, the first of which is a summary report and the second part is a copy of all responses made in each of the 6 focus areas.

November 2023


Families of Parishes

The Archdiocese of Liverpool is setting the stage for a transformative shift in the way the Church operates, introducing the concept of "Families of Parishes." This initiative is at the heart of the archdiocese's Pastoral Plan, promising a more connected and dynamic approach to faith and community. 


What are Families of Parishes?

All parishes in the Archdiocese will join other parishes in new groupings called "Families of parishes". These are groups of parishes, generally three to six, sharing resources to advance the mission, including having multiple priests, deacons and lay people serving the Family of Parishes. This will allow the priests, deacons, religious and laity to better share their gifts and talents with the whole Family of Parishes.


How are the Families of Parishes groupings chosen?

This will be amongst the first tasks of the newly formed Deanery Synodal Council. A preliminary list of Parish Families will be developed in a discernment period from May 2022 onwards leading to the establishment of the first families of parishes in March 2024. This will be done with the DSC and Archdiocesan personnel, before being brought to the Archbishop and his Advisory Council for approval.


Building a Family of Parishes should ideally have:

  • One "main church" with possibly one or more "satellite churches". Repairs and maintenance will be done in these churches and refurbishments can be agreed. In the other churches still in use, only essential maintenance will be done to allow for short term usage.
  • One place for social gatherings.
  • One place for catechetical events
  • One parish Office
  • Place(s) for priests to live, whether singly or in small groups

Personnel in a Family of Parishes

  • Priest(s) (full time, part-time or in retirement)
  • Deacon(s)
  • Pastoral worker(s)
  • Administrative staff
  • Volunteers

Engagement with the local Schools and Community

Deecisions about families of parishes should consider their relationships with schools, local councils and other significant public bodies and their actual contribution to the common good. We should try to ensure that ecumenical discussions and decision making are part of any local agreement.


Financial Viability

The Families of parishes should be arranged and managed to make best use of the available resources (including such assets which have a realistic chance of generating income) and control costs so that each unit, or at least the deanery as a whole, is financially viable. This may require a deliberate policy of richer areas supporting poorer areas.


For updates please see

24th October 2023

Family of Parishes Roadshows

The Pastoral Plan makes clear the way forward for the church in our archdiocese. It says this: "Developing the models of pastoral collaboration that we already have we will create families of parishes." In the future, we will work as Families of Parishes.


To explore what this means, there are 3 roadshows planned. These are open meetings for anyone and everyone to come. They will take place on:

Saturday 4th Nov from 10.00am – 12 noon at St Margaret Clitherow Centre.

Tuesday 7th Nov 7:00pm – 9.00pm at St Anne’s Pastoral Centre in Ormskirk

Wednesday 8th Nov 7.00pm – 9.00pm at St Julie’s Eccleston, St Helens.


For further information, please contact Fr Philip Inch. (


The Pastoral Plan, is the main output from the SYNOD activities that have been undertaken over the past few years. The Plan itself can be viewed here or you can download it and read it at your leisure from the download link below.

Archdiocese of Liverpool Pastoral Plan
Pastoral Plan.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 10.2 MB

Synodal Synthesis


A document which details common areas across all diocese in England and Wales, to come up with a national view has been written and documented. You can download the document from the link below. It's an interesting read!

Bishops of England and Wales Synthesis
Adobe Acrobat Document 686.1 KB

Dinosaurs, Unicorns and Sharks!


A synthesised version of the Pastoral Plan has been submitted to the Vatican as part of Vatican Synod 2021-2023. The document is easily read, written in plain english and can be found on the Archdiocese website here.


You have to read all the way through to gain enlightenment....

Pastoral Plan - Overview


There is an Overview of the Pastoral Plan available and this can be found by following the link here.


This Overview is very easy to digest and is written  so that we may get an appreciation of the 6 development areas which are fundamental to the future and success of the Pastoral Plan itself.

Pastoral Plan - Families


The Pastoral Plan made easy is provided for review in a publication especially made for families. It explains in plain english, the 6 development areas which form the programme of work.  As part of the end of year 1 communications the document can be found here. This is a MUST READ for any parishioner so that we all start to get an understanding of how the Pastoral Plan Programme affects us.

Pastoral Plan - 1 Year Update


The work of the Pastoral Plan has been in full operation now for 1 year.  A summary of progress has been prepared and in line with the information presented below, it shows what is in progress, what is in the plan and what has been carried out already. The summary of Year 1 can be found here. Again, it is a MUST READ for all parishioners. In addition there is a video from Fr. Philip Inch which puts the written word into action.

November 2022


Deanery Synodal Councils are in place and each deanery has a specific task to review, contemplate and respond. To see our responsibilities, please take a look at our Deanery Synodal Council page here.

Pastoral Plan - Governance and Structure


The Pastoral Plan is a programme of activity with 6 defined development areas. One of the activities covering two development areas involves restructuring the way the archdiocese interacts with its parishioners. The Archbishop’s Council and College of Consultors has been revised. The Chapter of Canons will, from 6 June 2022, take on the role as College of Consultors and the Archbishop’s Council, from the same date, will become the Archbishop’s Advisory Body and so enable it to include people who are not ordained. The recent appointment of Sr. Lynne Baron is a significant step forwards in this restructuring. Sr. Lynne will be a major influencer in the work undertaken by the new Archbishops Advisory Board which will now be populated by both clergy and laity.


The significance of this is demonstrated by the restructured lines of communication which will become more and more evident as we move forward and align directly with the mission that is detailed in the Pastoral Plan itself.


The Archbishops Advisory Board is an integral part of the new hierarchy which will govern the archdiocese cascading of information from the Archdiocese to the clergy, the parishes, and their congregation. It’s a fundamental change in the way that communication will be affected and will surely speed up communications and decision making across the entire archdiocese.

The diagram above, shows you the relationship between the major stakeholders in the new governance model from the Archdiocese to the Parish Councils, or Parish Synodal Councils. It’s also important to envisage the idea of ‘Families of Parishes’. As we start to embark on other aspects of the Pastoral Plan, the support needed across the different Families of Parishes will be integral to the success of the projects which will specifically look at shared resources, buildings, skills, catechists, and others who provide a vital role in the day-to-day operation of each parish and its integration to the archdiocese


Similar in concept to the amalgamation undertaken in Warrington where the parishes of St. Mary, St. Oswald and St. Benedict are now known as the parish of Blessed James Bell, the Families of Parishes concept would allow each of the parishes to retain their own individuality, whilst enabling the sharing of resources mentioned above, easier across the parishes, and obviously across the deanery too.


The diagram shows that the defined path from the Archbishop direct to the clergy is retained, either direct from the Archbishop or from the Chapter of Canons, and the path for Archdiocese information, initiated via the new clergy and laity populated Archdiocese Advisory Board, can be distributed via the new governance routes using the synodal pathways.


These changes specifically affect Development Areas 3 and 4 of the Pastoral Plan, and these developments have been summarised for families as part of the end-of-year 1 communications of the Pastoral Plan programme implementation. This is a MUST READ for any parishioner so that we all start to get an understanding of how the Pastoral Plan Programme affects us. The link for this document is at the top of this page.