Where are we now? An update – October 2021

The LLF resources were published in November 2020. Here is a summary of activities since then.

 

  1. The formation of the LLF Next Steps Group

The Next Steps Group is comprised of 9 bishops, chaired by the Bishop of London. The group has met 14 times since June 2020. It has produced the overarching strategy for engagement and listening across dioceses, and a timeframe for the discernment and decision-making phases of the process. It has also formed a Reference Group which will act as a sounding board for the group’s work.

  1. The development of the LLF Learning Hub

Over 11,000 people have registered on the LLF Learning Hub. The LLF Course Videos are downloadable and the Hub is regularly updated and reviewed in the light of users’ comments. It also contains accessibility options and all films can be viewed with subtitles.

  1. Listening to the whole church

Everyone who engages with the LLF resources is encouraged to share their reflections with the wider Church. There are three ways in which individuals’ and groups’ learning and reflections are being captured:

  1. The LLF online questionnaire – also available offline as a word or pdf document. This is a vital way of gathering responses and gauging the diversity and extent of engagement. So far over 800 completed surveys have been gathered.
  2. Creative responses – offering individuals and groups the opportunity to express their LLF experience, learning and reflections in creative ways: through photography, painting, colouring, poetry, music or in a recorded conversation or video.
  3. Focus groups – these will take place towards the end of 2021 and spring 2022 and will enable deeper reflections on emerging themes.
  1. Engaging with Dioceses

37 Dioceses have held or plan to hold LLF Taster Events. Approximately 5,750 people have participated. 

  1. Appointment of LLF Advocates

LLF Advocates have been appointed to almost all dioceses to encourage, enable and support participation in LLF across the dioceses and to connect with the LLF process at a national level. There are a total of approximately 74 Advocates and they meet every month to share good practice, make suggestions and support one another in their work.

  1. Facilitation training

Courses for facilitating LLF engagement have been held nationally over the past 7 months. Over 500 people have participated and many dioceses have cascaded this training locally.

  1. LLF Chaplains

Many dioceses have appointed LLF chaplains who are available to anyone within the diocese who wants a safe space to reflect on whatever has been stirred within themselves as a result of engaging with LLF. This is an aspect of creating safer and braver spaces for learning well together.

  1. Listening beyond the Church of England

The LLF resources have been shared with partner churches in England and with leaders of other faith communities – both in the production and engagement phases. A gathering of leaders of the Abrahamic faiths has taken place and an ecumenical seminar is being planned.

  1. Further resources

‘The Gift of the Church’ will be an accessible learning resource that supplements the LLF Book and encourages theological reflection across the church about what it means to be church in the light of the LLF process and the questions it raises. It also aims to ensure that the work of discernment and decision-making is biblically, theologically and experientially grounded in what it means to be church.

An annotated bibliography relating to gender identity and transition will gather and summarise resources to help the Church:

  • to be better informed about the questions relating to gender identity, fluidity and transition that are being debated in society;
  • to better understand the impact of these debates on trans and gender fluid people and others affected by them. 

It will involve gathering resources from experts in different fields, from transgender and gender fluid people as well as other people affected by these questions.