A special thank you “to all those people who have worked to keep our churches open during the last, difficult eighteen months”. This is the beginning of the letter that the Catholic primate of England and Wales, card. Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, wrote to the congregation of his archdiocese and that was read in all the churches on Sunday, 10th October. In his message, the archbishop explains to the congregation the different stages of the Episcopal Synod that will have its highlight in the Vatican in October 2023. “Pope Francis is asking us to strengthen ourselves in faith and to share joys and disappointments”, the cardinal writes. “He hopes will this help us discern God’s presence. There is a worldwide dimension to such process, but Pope Francis is asking us to start in our situations, with our experiences, especially those of the last one and a half years, which have highlighted the strengths and weaknesses in the life of the Church”. The archbishop of Westminster asked his devotees to “speak” but above all to “listen”. “In the next few days and in the next few weeks, we will send invitations to the parishes and schools. We will share experiences and will try to understand what we should do, guided by prayer and by the Holy spirit”. The archbishop of Westminster concludes: “This is an opportunity to show how much we have the family of the Church at heart. An initiative that reflects the openness of the Holy Father, his compassion and his longing for a renewal”.