Living in Love and Faith

Living in Love and Faith

Living in Love and Faith is a learning and listening process taking place across The Church of England to help individuals, parishes, deaneries and dioceses, reflect on our shared humanity and sexual identity.

The product of three years’ work by more than 40 people, led by the Bishop of Coventry, Living in Love and Faith includes a 480-page book, a series of films and podcasts, a course and an online library of other publications, in what is thought to be the most extensive work in this area by any faith group in the world.

They follow an appeal by the House of Bishops to the whole Church of England to participate in learning together, using the resources for open, honest and gracious discussion, listening and learning.

The process

This period of church-wide learning and engagement is taking place throughout 2021 and on until  April 2022. Explaining the extension, Dr Eeva John, Enabling Officer for the LLF process has said:

The House of Bishops will then bring the discernment and decision-making to a timely conclusion in 2022 which would then be put before Synod.

A group of bishops, chaired by the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, and call the Next Steps Group, will lead the process of discernment and decision-making about a way forward for the church in relation to human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
 

Living in Love and Faith in our Diocese

Our bishops have encouraged the listening and conversation in our Diocese to be ones of grace and compassion:

"These issues go to the heart of what it means to be human, and especially touches upon the lives of people who feel marginalised by the Church, so we should debate with compassion and sensitivity, seeking prayerful wisdom from God and aiming at all times to show the fruit of the Spirit as St Paul describes it in Galatians 6; that is, with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

So far, an online Diocesan Taster Day has taken place, and over 220 people within the Diocese have registered with the Living in Love and Faith Resource Hub. Many conversations are happening at individual, parish and deanery level.

A consultative group has been set up in the Diocese to support engagement with the Living in Love and Faith resources. 

Meet the consultative group
  • Dr Mike Lawes
  • Mrs Cheryl Trice
  • Mrs Jenny Ross
  • Father Clive Jones
  • The Rev Jane Winter (LLF Diocesan Advocate)
  • The Rev Ade Lawal
  • The Rev Ren Harding
  • The Rev Nick Cornell; and,
  • The Rev Victoria Pask.
  • The Reverend Jane Winter - LLF Diocesan Advocate (a requirement in each diocese. This is advocacy for the process itself, and not any particular outcome)
  • The Reverend Joel Love  -  Diocesan Living in Love and Faith chaplain.

 

Living in Love and Faith Advocate and Chaplain

There are two key roles within the Diocese to help support the process:

  • Living in Love and Faith Diocesan Advocate - The Reverend Jane Winter  is LLF Diocesan Advocate - this is a requirement in each diocese and is an advocate for the process itself, and not any particular outcome. Jane is able to point people to resources and assist with learning events, including supporting parishes engaging with the LLF course.  She is our link person with the national Next Steps group which has the task of ensuring that the church-wide process of learning and discernment will be gathered, listened to and reflected on by the bishops together with members of General Synod as they discern the way forward for the Church of England in a process that will be concluded in 2022.
     
  • Living in Love and Faith Chaplain - As chaplain, The Rev Joel Love is available to support any who might be grateful for pastoral support at any stage during the process. He can be contacted on email at: llf.chaplain@rochester.anglican.org

Watch this short film on which Joel explains his role:

 

Other groups and resources

There are other groups within but independent to the diocese, who are also supporting dialogue and engagement with the resources. They are organising additional events and opportunities to which all are invited to attend.

Additional books

  • 'Living in love and faith - a concise introduction and review.' by Dr Martin Davie. A theological consultant to the Church of England Evangelical Council and lay member of the Diocese of Rochester. A concise introduction to the Living in Love and Faith resources offering a critical assessment of them from an Evangelical viewpoint. This can be obtained from Latimer Trust at https://www.latimertrust.org.
  • 'Living in Love and Faith - a biblical response.' An in depth response to the Living in Love and Faith resources designed for clergy and others who want to think more deeply about them. Published by Dictum Press on 6 April with a foreword by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. More details can be found at https://dictumpress.com/living-in-love-and-faith.

 


Key Contacts

The Rev Jane Winter

Living in Love and Faith Diocesan Advocate

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The Rev Joel Love

Living in Love and Faith Chaplain

Get in touch