Canon Chris Thomas, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, gives an overview of exactly what the Bishops discussed at their autumn plenary held at Hinsley Hall, Leeds, from 15-18 November 2021.

Items included:

  • Reflection on the COVID19 pandemic, particularly praying for those who have died, the bereaved and our frontline and ancillary workers.
  • The change in our patterns of worship and the need for us to be “Honouring Sunday” – recognising the gift of the Sunday Eucharist
  • The safe return, where possible, to the Church and Her Sacraments.
  • Engaging in the Synod pathway called for by Pope Francis.
  • The Bishops approved a pilgrimage of the relics of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, Bernadette Soubirous, to the UK in 2022.
  • Continuation of the national scripture programme – the God Who Speaks.
  • The new vision and mission of the Caritas Social Action Network.

In addition, Bishop John Arnold gave a reflection on the two weeks he spent at the COP26 UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow. Bishop Paul Mason gave an update on the vital work of safeguarding in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Bishop Paul McAleenan discussed the Bishops’ work supporting migrants and refugees.

This update was given at a press conference held in-person and virtually in London on Friday, 19 November 2021.

Honouring Sunday

The Bishops of England and Wales released this statement following the November 2021 Plenary Assembly about the importance of honouring Sunday.

Update on the new Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency

Bishop Paul Mason gives an update on the on-going work of the new Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA).

Environment Bishop disappointed by COP26 but won't lose hope

Bishop John Arnold, Lead Bishop for the Environment, spent almost two weeks in Glasgow attending the COP26 UN Climate Summit.

Working to support Migrants and Refugees

Speaking at a post-plenary press conference in London on 19 November 2021, Bishop Paul McAleenan gave an update on the Bishops' work to support migrants and refugees in England and Wales.