The Living in Love and Faith journey

Living in Love and Faith - Hero

The LLF journey has taken us through ‘listening’, to ‘discerning’ and now to ‘implementing.’ Having listened to the people of the Church of England, engaged with the LLF resources, with Scripture, and the tradition of the Church, the bishops shared their response with General Synod in February 2023. Following this, three implementation working groups have been formed, to take this forward: the Pastoral Guidance Working Group, the Prayers of Love and Faith Working Group and the Pastoral Reassurance Working Group. The groups are made up of episcopal and non-episcopal members, each led by two episcopal co-chairs. Alongside Bishop Sarah Mullally and Bishop Philip Mounstephen, these co-chairs form the LLF Implementation Steering Group.

The bishops will share the outcomes of these Working Groups with General Synod in July 2023.


The overview

The Living in Love and Faith resources are to enable the whole Church to embark on a journey together. The journey has five stages:

  1. Learning together about the subject matter, about each other, about God and about our calling as a Church (from April 2022).
  2. Listening to what is emerging from our learning together about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage and about our life together as church communities and as a national Church (from September 2022).
  3. Discerning what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church today (from December 2022).
  4. Deciding how discernment is translated into a way forward for the Church (from February 2023).
  5. Implementing the ways forward agreed by the bishops and General Synod.

The roadmap

Here is a more detailed road map of the journey, including how members of General Synod will be invited to engage:

September 2021

College of Bishops

Bishops committed themselves to a series of conversations in regional groups, ‘Centred on Christ: Conversations on the Way’, to prepare for discernment and decision-making regarding Vision and Strategy, Organisational Change, and LLF.

November 2021

General Synod

A guide to LLF for new members was provided; an update; ‘Passing the Baton’ reflections from Synod members of the previous quinquennium; the LLF Road Map.

December 2021

House of Bishops

The House reflected on the extent of church-wide engagement and considered how to prepare for the discernment process.

February 2022

General Synod

Reflected on and engaged with the Pastoral Principles.

Spring 2022

Diocesan Synods

Some Diocesan Synods took the opportunity to reflect on engagement in dioceses so far and the role of Diocesan Synods in shaping the Church’s discernment process. Resources and a process were provided.

30 April 2022

‘Listening to the
Whole Church’

The window for submitting feedback via the questionnaire and/or submitting a creative response was closed on 30th April 2022.

May 2022

House of Bishops

The House reflected on Diocesan Synods’ engagement and its implications for the process of discernment in the autumn.

July 2022

General Synod

Members of General Synod engaged with LLF in small groups as well as with creative and reflective elements, including an art installation entitled ‘Faith and Fracture’ at York Minster, and, at York University, an exhibition of creative responses to LLF, entitled ‘From the Heart’.

September 2022

‘Listening to the
Whole Church’

The findings of the responses to churchwide engagement were published on 2 September 2022 under the title, ‘Listening with Love and Faith’. A resource, ‘Friendship and the Body of Christ’, was also published to encourage reflection and conversations about what it means to be church with diversity and difference. They can be found here.

September - October 2022

Next Steps Group

Members of the Next Steps Group of bishops are holding meetings with representatives of 21 organisations and networks representing a wide possible range of views relating to identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. The organisations are listed below.*

September 2022

College of Bishop

This meeting, which was to initiate the bishops’ process of discernment and decision-making, was cancelled because of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Instead bishops are doing some reflective work individually ahead of the meeting in October.

October 2022

College of Bishops

Bishops gathered from 31 October to 3 November. The programme can be found here.

December 2022

College & House of Bishops

Bishops gathered from 12 - 14 December. The programme can be found here.

January 2023

College of Bishops

Bishops will agree the outcomes of the discernment process to bring to the wider Church and General Synod.

February 2023

General Synod

Consider proposals from the College and House of Bishops and agree a clear direction of travel.

April 2023 Working Groups LLF Implementation Working Groups established.
May 2023 House of Bishops Bishops will meet from 15-17 May.
June 2023 College of Bishops Bishops will meet from 5-7 June.
July 2023 General Synod Consider proposals from the College and House of Bishops.


* List of organisations and networks

The Society


Affirming Catholics

Society of the Holy Cross

Church Missionary Society


New Wine


The Church Society

HTB Network

Changing Attitude (England)

Living Out


Campaign for Equal Marriage

Evangelical Group of GS

Diverse Church

Ozanne Foundation

The Junia Network

GS Gender & Sexuality Group

Society of Catholic Priests

Inclusive Church

The Next Steps Group – becomes LLF Implementation Working Groups

The full membership of the groups is drawn from across the Church of England and abide by the following terms of reference. Their work will be co-ordinated by a steering group co-chaired by the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, and the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen.