8 – 14th Oct 2023 online all week

13 & 14th Oct, live, in-person and online, 

Rome Italy and Bristol UK.

Until we raise a common voice, we will not only not be heard,
we will not even be listened to…

Sr Joan Chittister​


one of 8 young organisers of offen.katholisch,


In Spirit Unbounded we nurture the emerging Church. One that works to be safe, inclusive and just. One that strives to live by the teachings of Jesus. One that prays.

And one that challenges the Church’s continuing disregard of our simple human rights.


We are the emerging Church. Networked!

HRECC is our worldwide offering from more than 40 international reform groups. This is your chance to be alongside the XVI Synod of Bishops in Rome, called by Pope Francis, as part of our lay-led Synodal Assembly. Come and hear our 110+ Voices from across the world, telling it like it is.

We’ll be online all week 8-14 October, and live in-person in Rome and in Bristol UK 13-14 October. Wherever you are in the world, you can be with us on YouTube, with language subtitles, so you don’t miss anything. Just watch in your own time, once we give you the daily links, as often as you like, and whenever you like.

With friends in your living-room, in a group from your parish hall, or from your village gathering anywhere worldwide that has an internet connection, you can join us. Many of our stories are harrowing, but all offer hope. We’re the church that hasn’t walked away.

Who's taking part?

We’re thrilled that Dr. Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland and Canon Lawyer, Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister, one of the world’s foremost spiritual speakers and writers, and Steven Newcomb, Shawnee-Lenape author of ‘Pagans in the Promised Land’ and scholar of the Doctrine of Discovery/Domination will headline live for us in Rome and Bristol.

Sr Joan Chittister

Sr Joan Chittister, OSB, is one of the most influential religious and social leaders of our time. For over 50 years she has passionately advocated on behalf of peace, human rights, women’s issues, and monastic and church renewal.
A Benedictine sister of Lake Erie, she is an international lecturer and award-winning author of 60 books. An articulate social analyst and influential religious leader, she is courageous, passionate, and a much sought-after speaker, commentator, counsellor and clear voice across all religions.

Dr Mary McAleese

Dr Mary McAleese was two term President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011. The theme of her presidency was Building Bridges and working for peace and reconciliation. She is a leading critic of Catholic Church teaching on among other things, women, homosexuality, Church members’ human rights, children’s rights, corporal punishment, church governance and episcopal accountability. Broadcaster and academic lawyer, she has a licentiate and doctorate in Canon Law.

Steven Newcomb

Steven T. Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape) is a scholar, educator, author and film producer focusing on inter-generational trauma, cultural survival. Newcomb is co-founder and director of the Indigenous Law Institute and director of Original Nations Advocates. He is internationally recognized for his more than three decades of research and writing on the Vatican papal bulls of the fifteenth century. His primary focus is the theological doctrine now commonly known as the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Domination.


Renewal Choir is a community gospel choir based in Bristol founded by Kim and Vernon Samuels in 2005. Choir members represent a multitude of church traditions and non-church backgrounds who love to engage in various civic, festival, community and social events in and around the South West. They have performed at events such as the BBC National Music Day, the Leona Lewis UK Tour in Bristol and Cardiff, on BBC Points West and toured with the Welsh National Opera in 2022 in Wales and England in a brand new opera - Migrations.


Spirit Unbounded is humbled by the number of people saying, thank you for letting me tell my story. In  the RC Church, we’re  worldwide- but how often do we really hear each other’s lived experience? From Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, Asia and Europe, over 100 friends voice their stories to share their work and lives with us. Not all are easy to hear.

This is the true meaning of ‘synod’; to hear each other, to walk together.

Click here to see the full list of all our Voices.

 ‘Human Rights in the Catholic Church’ 8-14 October will tackle those human rights denied to Catholics and the underlying reasons. The hierarchical model is broken. The Spirit is unbounded. 

Join us for an educational opportunity of a life-time and a festival of hope with activists, thinkers, poets, musicians and ordinary Christians.

From South Africa, Germany, USA, Nigeria, India, Aotearoa New Zealand, UK, Kenya, Ireland, Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Australia, Pakistan, Brazil, Philippines, Czech Republic, Italy and building…


Hilton DoubleTree Bristol North

For you, our speakers and our team

  • special rates for Spirit Unbounded attendees
  • all their accessible rooms
  • full / continental breakfast*
  • our own dining suite and bar space
  • full use of gym, pool and leisure club
  • electric car charge points and free parking
  • free wifi
  • 8  – 10 minutes from conference St Michael’s Centre by car or taxi
  • our SU team to welcome and guide you

*Dinner choices arranged through us and charged separately.

PLEASE HURRY! Our held rooms are vanishing fast!



St Michael’s state-of-the-art conference centre hosts our Bristol Assembly on 13 – 14 Oct.

Click FAQ above for all info on our gathering and on Bristol.


We are diverse. Small, huge, established or new, one thing unites us. Spirit Unbounded.

See all of us here.


Online all events, all week 8th - 14th October, 2023

Live in Rome, 13th - 14th October Includes lunch, tea and coffee. Includes Online all week.

Live in Bristol UK, 13th - 14th October Includes lunch, tea and coffee. Includes Online all week.


All online 30 mins before programme start time.

Live / online in Rome 10.30 - 19.30 CET Fri 13th & Sat 14th Oct.

Live / online in Bristol 9.30 - 18.30 BST Fri 13th & Sat 14th Oct


Bristol: St Michael's Centre,
Stoke Gifford, Bristol Bristol BS34

Casa Bonus Pastor, Via Aurelia 208, 00165 Roma



  • Watch all week, online, when you choose.


  • Your Rome 13 - 14 Oct live in-person ticket. Includes online all week.


  • Your Bristol 13 - 14 Oct live in-person ticket. Includes online all week.

Unwaged Online

  • Experiencing financial hardship, online-only ticket.

These tickets are purely for the event as above. Prices are accessibly modest because so many people are giving their time free to make this happen.

To help others worldwide who cannot afford £24 to attend, please click the donate button.