Inspired by Pope Francis’s synodal vision, some lay Catholics from across the UK invite you to embrace and advance renewal, reform and healing in the Catholic Church. 

As the Pope has said, quoting Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s book, The Leopard, “if we want everything to stay the same, everything must change.”

Already taking place twice-monthly on Zoom, Root and Branch Inclusive Synod will reach its conclusions on issues of equality, inclusion and governance in online workshops from 5 – 8 September 2021.  The Synod will culminate with a conference on 10 – 12 September 2021, earthed in the State of the Art, conference centre of St Michael’s Church, Stoke Gifford, beside Bristol Parkway Station. 

The conference will start with a cup of tea with Rt. Revd. Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol, and a recorded welcome from Bishop Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton.

Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, canon lawyer and campaigner for Church reform, will be the keynote speaker – one among an eclectic range of speakers from theologian to ‘regular parishioners’ as, in the words of St John Henry Newman, “Heart speaks unto heart”. 

Meeting online since October 2020 Root and Branch Inclusive Synod has drawn interest nationwide and internationally, from Catholics and other denominations and faiths, with laity, religious and clergy meeting as equals. Whether you are a parishioner or a prelate, not practising or excluded from the church or from ministry, please join us. It is good to talk! The Synod receives support from some who do not feel able to do so publicly, we respect and maintain absolute confidentiality. 

“Do not be afraid” says Jesus – and yet we are. We have been frightened to speak to one another with real honesty about issues which affect us deeply in our Church today. That needs to change. The “Heart to Heart” conversation is long overdue. 

As people come together, giving each other the confidence to speak up and to really listen, Root and Branch Inclusive Synod is shining a healing light into dark places.

For further information about Root and Branch Inclusive Synod; how to Zoom with us and – coming shortly – details of how to book for the virtual and actual Synod (rooms reserved two Holiday Inns for those who need them), please visit