Who Leads the Church? – Extracts from The Acts of the Apostles

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I write to invite you to be part of a Diocese-wide project of reading extracts from the Acts of the Apostles. The context for this is our journey towards the Diocesan Synod in April next year.

I have put together a small booklet entitled Who Leads the Church? – Noticing the Holy Spirit at Work. It contains not all the Acts of the Apostles but rather various extracts and a brief commentary on each extract.

As I wrote in my pastoral letter last year announcing the Synod, the Word of God is always at the heart of any renewal in the life of the Church. So please take away a copy of this booklet and, where possible, together with others, read the chapters contained in it.

The idea is to try and promote its reading as widely as possible through the Diocese. I suggest a copy be taken for each household. But perhaps there are others, especially young people, you know who might like to have a copy of it so please bring it to them too.

While everyone is free to read it at his or her own pace, as a Diocese we will be focussing on one chapter every two weeks. A number of video-clip resources will be available on the Synod website and the Diocesan Facebook. As well as a very short clip where I introduce the text, every two weeks I will also offer a one-minute video-clip commentary on each of the chapters of the booklet. There will also be a video recording of a group demonstrating how a group might use the text. We also hope to provide an introductory video-clip designed for young people.

Let’s pray that the initiative will bear fruit. If you have any further suggestions, please let me know.

Let’s remember one another in prayer.

With kind regards,

+ Bishop Brendan


The calendared timeline for using the text throughout the diocese:

  1. November 9th to November 22nd

Getting Reading for the Coming of the Spirit - Acts 1: 3-5; 8-14

  1. November 23rd to December 6th

Pentecost – The Church’s “Big Bang” - Acts 2: 1-18; 22-24; 32-39

  1. December 7th to December 20th

What kind of Community is the Church? - Acts 2: 41-Acts 3: 1-10

  1. December 21st to January 3rd

A New Model of Life that is contested - Acts 4: 1-23; 31-32

  1. January 4th to January 17th

Could this Solidarity be for real?  - Acts 4:32-37

  1. January 18th to January 31st

God is in charge, not us - Acts 6:1-13; 7:1-2; 54-8:3

  1. February 1st to February 14th

Paul’s Conversion Story - Acts 9:1—31

  1. February 15th to February 28th

Working out what God wants isn’t always easy! - Acts 15: 1-35

  1. February 29th to March 13th

Lydia’s Story – An Example of how we come to faith - Acts 16:6-15

  1. March 14th to March 27th

A Lesson in “inculturating” the Gospel - Acts 17:16-32

  1. March 28th to April 10th

A Married Couple making a Difference - Acts 18:1-4; 18-19, 24-26

  1. April 11th to April 24th

Words of Advice for the Future - Acts 20: 17-38

  1. April 25th to May 8th At Last – The Word of God reaches Rome - Acts 28: 16-30