Here you can find a copy and short summary of all Bishop John’s Pastoral Letters.
1st Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 20th December 2014
In his first Pastoral Letter, Bishop John thanked Bishop Terence for all he achieved for the diocese. He called on us to remember that Christmas is a Feast of Hope and to be thankful for all we have given the injustice that is happening elsewhere in the world. In the letter, he thanks all priests, people and religious in our diocese for their love and generosity in their life and work.
2nd Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 14th February 2015
On Ash Wednesday, Bishop John wrote ahead of the Season of Lent. He called for us to take moments of silence and recollection to ourselves to enable us to learn about ourselves and get things in our life in a better focus. He called for collaboration and support in the decisions that lay ahead of him and all people in our diocese.
3rd pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 13th June 2015
Bishop John thanked those in the diocese for their welcome in his first six months as Bishop and announced his plans for a consultation. He introduced the Year of Mercy and Pope Francis’s upcoming encyclical on climate change, Laudato Si.
4th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 26th September 2015
Reminding us of what is at the heart of our Church, our faith, our Sacraments and our traditions, Bishop John called on us to show generosity and embrace a new way of living our faith, a way which looks outwards, generously, to members of our Faith who have drifted away, and to those in our wider communities who are in need, whether they are people of Faith or not.
5th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 22nd November 2015
Bishop John thanked all those who had responded to the consultation document. He wrote about the practical challenges that the diocese faced and the responses we would need to consider as we look to be Missionary Parishes.
6th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 30th January 2016
Bishop John wrote to all parishes to request prayers ahead of a meeting with diocesan clergy to determine a clear plan for moving forward within the diocese. He called for support of Caritas during the Year of Mercy and reminded us all of the journey we are on: “We are most certainly on a journey and we need to be going in the right direction, assisted in our every step by the Lord.”
7th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 11th June 2016
Bishop John provides an update on the diocesan consultation. He called on us to look inwards: “If we are to achieve great things “out there” then I think we have first to strengthen ourselves within. And the secret to that strength is our prayer.”
8th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 26th November 2016
On the first Sunday of Advent, Bishop John reminded us all not to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas and to be thankful for God’s love in our lives.
Letter on the Weekend of 14th January 2017 to accompany the document – Strengthening our presence as a Church: A journey in hope
Bishop John thanked all in the diocese for their comments and views on the challenges we face in the diocese and the opportunity to plan for the future, asking for their support in building a Church for future generations.
Strengthening our presence as a Church: A journey in hope
Following a consultation with all in the diocese and in response to fast changing times and new challenges, a report was published to highlight parish restructuring in our diocese to help us all to become missionary disciples in missionary parishes.
9th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 2nd April 2017
Bishop John wrote a short letter to update on some issues that needed to be resolved following the publication of ‘Strengthening our presence as Church.’ He expressed his thanks for the responses he had received so far, explaining that the changes are a realistic response to the changing circumstances in which we live. Asking parishioners to be optimistic about the development of parishes in which we may all fulfil our vocation as missionary disciples and ambassadors for Christ.
10th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 30th September 2017
On the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, Bishop John launched Hope in the Future, the diocese’s pastoral renewal programme as an opportunity for parishes and faith organisations to celebrate all that we already are and do and then to identify and develop ways in which our diocese may grow in its missionary purpose.
11th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 31st December 2017
As we enter the New Year Bishop John has called on us to “trust in a God who is ever-present to us and never fails in His love for us.”
In a Pastoral Letter to mark the feast of the Holy Family, Bishop John highlighted upcoming occasions in the upcoming year: Adoremus and Dublin’s meeting of families.
12th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 22nd April 2018
On Good Shepherd Sunday Bishop John asked us all to consider our vocation and that we must ask ourselves what am I doing to build up the Body of Christ in my parish, my local community and, consequently, in our shared world.
13th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 19th May 2018
In a Pastoral Letter to mark the feast of Pentecost, the Bishop reminded us that God has a plan but we all have our part to play to put that plan into action. In the letter, Bishop John called on us all to continue “building that sense of mission and purpose” within our diocese to strengthen our parishes and our connection with the wider community.
14th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 27th October 2018
In a Pastoral Letter read across the diocese Bishop John asked us all to consider what our ‘definite purpose’ is.
In line with Stage Two of Hope in the Future, Bishop John called on us all to continue to develop ourselves as Missionary Disciples and “to use our gifts in growing and strengthening our parish communities and taking our Faith out to the wider community in service of all, particularly the marginalised and the poor.”
15th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 3rd March 2019
Bishop John wrote to all parishes and schools ahead of the Season of Lent to challenge everyone to take action on climate change and to start to Think Global, Act Local.
In his letter Bishop John challenged all parishes and schools in the Diocese of Salford to form a group concerned with educating and making practical responses to deal with climate change. The challenge from the Bishop takes inspiration from Pope Francis’s landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on “every person living on this planet” to care for our shared earth.
16th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of 6th October 2019
Bishop John’s letter launches Stage Three of Hope in the Future and calls for us all to value Sunday Mass more and more, and devote ourselves to its preparation and celebration. In the letter, Bishop John places special focus on the importance of the Eucharist: that Holy Communion under both kinds be made available, wherever possible, and with suitable catechesis, at both Sunday and weekday Masse and that times of Eucharistic Adoration are observed in all parishes.
17th Pastoral Letter on the Weekend of the 1st March 2020
On the First Sunday of Lent, Bishop John followed up on his 15th pastoral letter by remonding us once again to use the Season of Lent to consider how we respond practically and personally to the urgent situation of climate change. We were also reminded of our responsibility towards all our brothers and sisters on this planet.
18th Pastoral Letter June 2020
In his 18th Pastoral Letter to the faithful of the diocese Bishop John addresses the challenges we have faced during the pandemic and how must all learn to think globally as we emerge from lockdown.
19th Pastoral Letter November 2020
In his 19th Pastoral Letter Bishop John thanks parishioners and clergy for their kindness and creativity throughout the lockdown, and looked towards the Season of Advent and Christmas and how we can live out this important moment in our faith while facing the restrictions put into place due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
20th Pastoral Letter January 2021
In his 20th Pastoral Letter Bishop John focused on the importance of Caritas and Caritas Sunday in our diocese. He also shared his good wishes for the new year and highlighted some changes in the Department for Formation.
21st Pastoral Letter February 2021
In his 21st Pastoral Letter Bishop John reflects on the prospect of another Lent in lockdown. He offers guidance on Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving to help parishioners around the diocese to sustain their spiritual lives during Lent.
22nd Pastoral Letter October 2021
In his 22nd Pastoral Letter, Bishop John looks ahead to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow next month, and calls us to join him in prayer for the leaders of our world and a successful summit that can pave the way for a better future for all people and creation.
23rd Pastoral Letter November 2021
In his 23rd Pastoral Letter, Bishop John reflects on a diocese that is still finding its feet again after the pandemic. As he looks ahead to a time when all feel confident enough to return to Mass, he also invites us all to play our part in the Universal Synod, launched in October, and how our own Hope in the Future programme can help us respond to Pope Francis’ call.
24th Pastoral Letter November 2022
In his 24th Pastoral Letter for the First Sunday of Advent, Bishop John invites and challenges us to consider two themes this season. Following on from the Universal Synod launched by Pope Francis last year, Bishop John invites us to embark on our own diocesan journey to discern how God is calling us to be Church in our diocese. He also encourages us to consider returning to our traditional meat abstinence on Fridays, after a report from Cambridge University reveals the incredible impact this penitential act can have on our common home.
25th Pastoral Letter October 2023
As we head towards the end of the year, we move into the first listening stage of our Diocesan Synod. The listening stage runs from 15th October until the 19th January and during that time, we are looking to hear from as many people as we can. As we embark on the next stage of our journey, Bishop John shares a pastoral letter to guide our thoughts.