Deanery Synodal Council

Fr. Dave, parish priest of Blessed James Bell and Dean of the Warrington and Widnes Deanery, has requested for a representative from SS Peter and Michael, to join the Deanery Synodal Council. The Council meetings will begin in September, be run on a bi-monthly basis and will run for 12 months, so six meetings in all.


The meetings will not be like parish council meetings, rather they will be like the meetings that took place in preparation for Synod 2020 - prayer, food, listening and discernment.


Mary Hallam has kindly accepted the role of our representative on the Deanery Synodal Council.


Many thanks to Mary for volunteering.

Update 19th November 2022 - Deanery Synodal Council Letter


The first communication from the DSC was communicated by Mary Hallam on the weekend of the 19/20th of November and where we were informed that the deaneries were being asked to comment, provide ideas and thoughts as to the deanery operations, taking into consideration:


  • Falling attendees
  • Ageing parishioners
  • Ageing clergy
  • Reductions in clergy numbers


The initial communication has been provided in the form of the letter below: 

 ... and which asks for comment, ideas and solutions with regard to the structural form that the deanery should / must take as a result of the 4 considerations outlined above. Simply put,  we are being asked to consider how to use our resources (physical, human and potentially financial) to best strengthen and spread our Christian faith. The preferred solution at the moment is Families of Parishes which is shown in a diagram on our Pastoral Plan page and which is discussed at a high level in the document above. It's really all about consolidation and making sure we continue to make best use of the resources we have, whilst potentially re-using some of the resources which may become surplus as a result of said consolidation.


We request that you take some time to think about the issues at hand, think about other possible solutions and also potential hurdles that will need to be overcome, in order to set us up for the next generation.


In trying to give some guidelines to you, some examples of the type of questions we should be asking ourselves and providing insight and ideas to are:


  • How can we structure our deanery to further enhance the Families of Parishes (FoP) solution?
  • what do you understand FoP responsibilities to be?
  • What do you think or the FoP suggestions?
  • How do you think it will work?
  • What ideas do you have that will work to help the archdiocese / deanery to bring FoP to fruition?
  • How can we improve on some of the issues mentioned in the letter?
  • For some people transport will be a a problem  in the  FOP model but are there any other losses and gains you envisage in this model? 

There are certainly other questions and we hope you will feel free to send us your honest thoughts and ideas about how to create a structure for our resources as mentioned above, making better use of them all and allow us to respond positively to what is actually recommendation #4 from the Pastoral Plan. We hope that the work we do will then be adopted across the other deaneries in the archdiocese. Similarly, we hope to benefit from the work that they are doing on other recommendations from the Pastoral Plan.


Please feel free to contact Deacon Jim or Mary Hallam directly or, in order that we can more easily consolidate views and thoughts, use the parish email to collect and transfer your thoughts and ideas which Mary can then use in her discussions / meetings with the Deanery. 


A summary of our input will be published here when known.


Many thanks in advance for your help.