Living in Love and Faith is the Church of England’s national conversation about human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. It is about learning and listening to one another and to God.
This webpage contains background information and explains how you can participate in conversations about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage in the Diocese of Manchester.
About Living in Love and Faith
The Church of England is keenly aware that issues of gender and sexuality are intrinsic to people’s experience; their sense of identity; their lives and the loving relationships that shape and sustain them. We also know that the life and mission of our Church – and of the worldwide Anglican Communion – are affected by the deep, and sometimes painful, disagreements among us which have been debated and discussed on many occasions over the years.
These divisions have come into sharper focus because of society’s changing perspectives and practices, especially in relation to lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex people. The Church wants to understand what it means to follow Christ in love and faith given the questions about human identity and the variety of patterns of relationship emerging in our society, including marriage, civil partnership, cohabitation, celibacy and friendship.
The LLF resources explore these matters by studying what the Bible, theology, history and the social and biological sciences have to say, and by telling the real-life stories of followers of Christ with diverse experiences and convictions.
The LLF Learning Hub
The Living in Love and Faith process is at its heart an invitation to learn though conversations with others. The LLF Learning Hub is the place where all the resources are located. Registration and use of the resources are free. The resources include: a large book with detailed information and discussion, a five-session course, short films about real people, podcast discussions, and an extensive library of resources.
Click here to visit the Living in Love and Faith Learning Hub
Our recommendation is that you begin by reviewing the Course, either on video (available on the Learning Hub) or in the printed Course booklet (available from Church House Publishing), and by watching the video introduction to the Pastoral Principles.
The next step is to find an opportunity to discuss them with others. You can do this one to one with a friend or colleague or join a group doing the LLF Course, or run the Course on your own.
If you want to dig deeper, do explore the other resources, such as the large LLF book and the podcasts.
Help for your discussions
The Church of England has recently developed some helpful guidelines for discussing things about which people disagree. These Pastoral Principles for Living Well Together are introduced in the first session of the LLF Course.
There are some simple guidelines you can follow for your LLF conversations:
• Create a safe place where all voices are heard and respected
• Pray for those you will invite to participate
• Try to have diverse groups, particularly thinking across parish boundaries
• Follow the prayer, plan and prep guidance in the coursebook (available online)
• If you require a facilitator or access to support, the LLF Reference Group will be able to offer advice and encouragement
• Pray for those you will invite to participate
• Get diverse opinions and stories
There is even a separate course for exploring the Pastoral Principles.
Living in Love and Faith in the Diocese of Manchester
Every diocese has at least one diocesan Advocate and Reference Group to promote LLF learning and discussions. Bishop David appointed Canon David Holgate to be the Manchester diocesan Advocate working with a diverse Reference Group of lay and ordained members drawn together at his invitation.
The Group met regularly to get to know one another, do the five-session LLF Course together and to prepare for diocese-wide conversations.
One of the liberating features of the LLF process is that there is no definitive roadmap or predetermined set of outcomes. The resources offered, including the support from the Reference Group, are wide ranging and designed to suit a wide range of audiences.
Each of us who participates in the LLF learning and listening process is ‘building the bridge as we cross it’. To change the metaphor, we don’t know where God will lead us but we do know that we are seeking to follow God together in faith and love.
Thank you for considering how you will engage with LLF in and for your communities.
Gathered Responses from churchwide engagement
The findings of the engagement with LLF so far are presented in two documents; 'Listening to the Whole Church' and 'The Gift of the Church'. They can found on the Church of England website. These and the LLF resources will support the bishops in their ongoing discernment process as they seek to discern what they believe God is saying to the Church of England today.
Safeguarding the LLF process
Any safeguarding or ‘at risk’ issues should immediately be referred to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (Abbey Clephane-Wilson on 0161 828 1451 or 07436 589606 or email@example.com If the issue is urgent and the DSA is unavailable the issue should be reported directly to the police.