Learn together using the LLF resources
Share your reflections before 30 April 2022
Find out more about the LLF journey
What is the purpose of the Living in Love and Faith resources?
The hope is for people in Church of England churches across the country to use the LLF resources to study and pray together. The resources are designed to encourage and enable engagement and learning in a variety of settings. This church-wide learning together, listening to one another, and listening to God is part of discerning a way forward for the Church of England in relation to matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. The purpose of the resources is to enable the Church of England churches across the country to participate in a process of learning and praying together as part of discerning a way forward in relation to matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
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. Find out more about what the learning outcomes of the resources are.
We hope that people in worshipping communities across the country will get involved and use the resources to learn together. That is why there is a range of resources in a variety of formats.
We believe that the Holy Spirit will be active among us as we pray, study and deliberate together to discover Christ’s call to the Church today. We do this with a deep sense of hopefulness for a future in which Christians can follow Christ together joyfully, fruitfully and with integrity.
Hopes for Living in Love and Faith
As a result of engaging with the Living in Love & Faith resources, it is hoped that people and church communities will:
- be inspired by scripture’s glorious and joyful vision of God’s intention for human life.
- have discovered how to engage with rich biblical, theological, historical and scientific thinking about human identity, sexuality and marriage in a way that deepens their desire to know God and follow Christ.
- have a deeper understanding of the Church’s inherited teaching on Christian living in love and faith, especially with regard to marriage and singleness, and of emergent views and the Christian reasoning behind them.
- have heard the voices and encountered the experiences of people who would otherwise have been invisible to them.
- have learned different ways of reading scripture together well, allowing it to exert its transforming and revelatory power.
- find help for everyday Christian discipleship in all its diversity, physicality, messiness and grittiness.
- be alert to the interaction between the life of the church and its cultural contexts and equipped to engage in the public square about what it means to be human and sexual.
Who has been involved in producing the resources?
The project is led by the Bishops of the Church of England because of their particular responsibility for upholding and teaching the Christian faith. However, the production of the resources has involved a large and diverse group of people. These include the members of the LLF Coordinating Group, chaired by the Bishop of Coventry, and the members of the four working groups focusing on the Bible, theology, history and the social and biological sciences. Find out more about the group members.
In addition, a much larger and even more diverse group of people have contributed to the resources by sharing their stories in the book and on film and in written form on the LLF Learning Hub. The project is greatly indebted to the courage and willingness of the individuals and church communities who have given of themselves to enable all of us to hear the stories of people and churches we might otherwise not have encountered.
Finally, the project has involved liaising with and listening to the voices of the Church of England’s sister churches in the Anglican Communion, other churches in England, as well as other faith communities. The outcomes of these engagements are reflected in the LLF Book and their purpose is to strengthen relationships and to encourage mutual learning and reflection.
The Living in Love and Faith Learning Hub