Last updated 5th March 2021
The Church of England’s 'Living in Love and Faith' (LLF) teaching and learning resources, exploring questions of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage, have now been published.
The national resources available include a 450-page book; a course for discussion groups; a series of films and podcasts; a course and an online library of other publications. It is thought to be the most extensive work in this area by any faith group in the world.
They were commissioned by the House of Bishops following three years’ work by an LLF Coordinating Group of more than 40 people from across the Church. Bishop Jill served as one of the seven bishops on that Group. She has contributed to the content of the book and its accompanying 30+ hours of films, podcasts and the LLF course itself.
They are intended to initiate a process of whole Church discernment, learning and engagement in 2021 within a clear timeframe. This will, in turn, contribute to the Bishops’ discernment of a way forward in relation to questions of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
As stated in the previous update (see below) the Diocesan LLF Advocates Revd Canon Dr Rowena Pailing and Revd Jon Scamman were planning to write to all parishes and invite them to attend an LLF Taster Event on March 20.
Their invitation letter has now been sent, together with a programme for the Taster Event and the Eventbrite link for booking is now live.
If you need assistance with booking, please contact Julie Grimshaw on 07368 197069 or email email@example.com
More about our LLF Taster Event
We can confirm there will be an LLF Taster Event for our Diocese on Saturday, March 20 online via on Zoom from 10.15am to 1.15pm to provide information and advice about engagement with the LLF resources for parishes and chaplaincies.
This will enable them to make their own contributions subsequently as part of the national process of discernment.
March 20 will include an overview of LLF; a conversation between two members of the national LLF team representing diverse viewpoints; a sample selected from the LLF course to experience together; the opportunity to begin thinking about how to engage with LLF in the local context and Q&A.
A letter will be sent very shortly to all clergy and licensed ministers by Diocesan LLF Advocates Revd Canon Dr Rowena Pailing and Revd Jon Scamman, personally inviting them to attend, alongside a lay person from each parish, chaplaincy and other ministerial setting. As always, this has also been communicated to parishes via Parish Update.
Full booking information will be given in the letter. Booking will be open until noon on March 17. We will post the letter to this page (and the Eventbrite link as well) as soon as it's available.
In a further letter to parishes (also reflected in Parish Update on February 10, 2021) Bishop Julian updated everyone on progress regarding LLF.
Bishop Julian said: "A suite of resources was launched in November 2020 for LLF including a book, a course, podcasts and films; all designed to help the Church of England discern what God is saying on the issues of identity, relationships and marriage.
"That process has now been devolved down to dioceses and we are expected to conclude our engagement with the resources by November 2021. I am very grateful that the Revd Canon Rowena Pailing and the Revd Jon Scamman have agreed from their different perspectives to head up this diocesan project.
"We are inviting some to be part of a diverse group to support and guide them and the diocese in that work.
"Following a short one hour Diocesan Synod on March 20 (9-10am), there will be an 'LLF Taster Day' from 10.15am to 1.15pm for anyone in the diocese who wishes to attend.
"It will have to be by Zoom and I anticipate a large number who will want to gather, to hear an introduction from Eeva John, one of the key workers in the Project, watch some of the video material, observe a conversation between two people from the Coordinating Group who hold different views and reflect back in smaller groups in break out rooms.
"This engagement about a personal and sensitive subject on which the Church of England is struggling to agree will be challenging and demanding, but if conducted in a respectful and gracious manner, according to the pastoral principles identified by the Pastoral Advisory Group, will be a good opportunity to learn and prepare us for how we might further the process of discernment around the diocese."
In a letter to parishes (also reflected to parishes in a Parish Update ebulletin story) Bishop Julian says: "As a Diocese, we now join with the rest of the Church in entering a period of engaging, listening and learning which will continue right through 2021.
"While parishes can, of course, do their own discernment work it is my hope that we can also support and facilitate discussions and reflection across the Diocese, in groups and individually.
"The LLF Resources give opportunity to engage graciously with those who think differently from us, on issues which are deeply significant to us as a Diocesan family and in our wider society.
"I join with my colleagues in the House of Bishops in hoping these resources will provide a foundation for open, honest and gracious listening, learning and discussions from people of all points of view."
Ronnie Semley; page created November 2020 and updated regularly - last on Feb 9, 2021