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Living in Love and Faith

posted 21 Nov 2020, 01:47 by CHS Info   [ updated 21 Nov 2020, 06:40 ]
Living in Love and Faith (LLF) is a major Church of England project about human identity, gender, sexuality and marriage.  It has taken three years to produce.  It has a vast array of resources: a book, videos, podcasts, a course (all available on line).  The resources are intended to help parishes, deaneries and ultimately General Synod, consider whether, among other things, the Church of England should embrace marriage equality.

Every clergy person has received a letter from the Archbishops encouraging us to “explore” the resources in order that we may “grow in understanding of our common life”.  The next steps are vague: a group of Bishops (LLF next steps group) will “find ways to gather what emerges from your engagement so that it can properly contribute to the bishops’ discernment of a way forward for your church”.

To be honest, this is disappointing: one of the main aims seems to be to encourage both liberal and conservative parties in the wider Church to listen to one another and “play nice”.  The material (I haven’t reviewed it thoroughly yet) seems to present those opposed to gay marriage and gay relationship and those who advocate inclusion and equality neutrally (reminding me of Trump's comments after Charlottesville).  This means that some of  the material presented will be offensive, harmful and discouraging to those in the LGBT community.  As an inclusive church this is not a neutral issue for us, it is an issue of justice and the gospel imperative to love.

However, we need to engage in order to have our voice heard in the debate.

Standing Committee, the PCC and the LGBT action group will be discussing how we should respond in the coming weeks.  My proposal will be to put together a group of volunteers to assess the material and decide how best we can engage in the  process and how we can use this opportunity to explore how we can become a more Inclusive Church (in the broadest sense) and what that means for us.

In the meantime you might be interested to read some of the response to the material here:

Prof Diarmaid MacCulloch www.modernchurch.org.uk

The Ven Peter Leonard, archdeacon and chair of OneBodyOneFaith www.viamedia.News (twitter @peterleonard200)

 Mother Ruth Burge-Thomas, Vicar

YouTube Video