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Research shows that the churches that are growing are those that engage with experience. Not just the reflection on experience, important as that is, but also, providing a more personal experience within the liturgy. That experience, shared with others, becomes a gateway to the spiritual experience that lies at the heart of healthy religion.

That experience can be the exuberance of shared singing, music making and movement or the still, wordless mystery of adoration. The spiritual dimension of our lives needs more than the rational statements of belief, creeds and prayers that only address the intellect. Good liturgy tells stories, evokes mystery and engages emotions. Only when these are engaged does the language of faith and dogma find its proper place in people’s lives. Only when story is engaged with its complex and intuitive patterns can we invoke the personal dimension of the Easter mystery at the heart of every Christian’s belief. Only when I bring my lived experience to the Gospel can it become good news.

All well and good. But what does it mean for the average parish liturgy? I would like to suggest, by way of example, five practical steps that liturgy groups and leaders might employ.

ESV Bible

The ESV - Lost and Found in Translation

The commissioning of a new translation of Sacred Scripture will always raise key questions about how much any translation can meet the requirement to be faithful to original texts and, at the same time, aware of cultural needs. ACTA has arranged a series of talks from Scripture scholars to explore some of these issues.

All talks will be delivered via Zoom. All times are current London times.

The first session will be on Thursday 23rd September from 7.00pm- 8.30pm 

Session 1 will involve: 

  • Sr Patricia Rumsey – Abbess, Author and contributor to the Centre for Applied Theology        
  •  Dr Amanda Dillon - Assistant Professor, Dept of Theology, Dublin City University  

The second session will be on Thursday 30th September from 7.00pm- 8.30pm

Session 2 will involve: 

  • Rev Dr Joseph O'Hanlon - Author, retired priest of the Diocese of Nottingham and Spiritual Director to ACTA                                                                                                                                            
  • Archbishop George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff and Chair of the Dept of Christian Life and Worship -CBCEW 

The third session will be on Thursday 7th October from 7.00-8.30pm 

Session 3 will involve:

  • Fr Henry Wansbrough OSB - Cathedral Prior of Durham, Editor, New Jerusalem Bible 
  • Fr Nicholas King SJ - Author, Fellow of Campion Hall, University of Oxford.

Attendance will be via registration on the ACTA website:


The general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Mario Grech, has praised the Liverpool Synod for modelling the synodal process by walking together, listening and discerning.

In a message to the synod, Cardinal Grech said: “I am convinced that during this synodal experience you have learnt that although you were asked to take a ‘vote’, the synod is neither a parliament nor a convention but, as Pope Francis insists, it is ‘an expression of the Church’. It is a Church that walks together and reads reality with the eyes of faith and the heart of God.”

Download: The Table of the Lord JUNE20

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, with the Universe media group closing, my CT column is at an end.


For the last few weeks, La Croix international website has been carrying my pieces. This is the web presence linked to the French paper La Croix. The English language text is edited by Robert Mickens who is based in Rome.

I have now arranged to write a weekend column for La Croix, the first one of which is attached. Some of you on this circulation list I know subscribe to La Croix so you might pick my articles directly. Either way, I hope you will continue to enjoy your weekly read.