CAPTION: The Bishops of Exeter and Crediton with some of Devon's General Synod members at the Living in Love and Faith event

Bishop of Crediton Leads Event to “Offer Living in Love and Faith to God in Prayer”

Posted: 28th April, 2022

 A prayer event has been held at Exeter Cathedral to mark the move to the next stage of the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith process.

The event on 28 April, led by the Bishop of Crediton, the Rt Rev’d Jackie Searle, featured reflective prayer stations and short service.

Living in Love and Faith (LLF) is the process for discerning the future direction of the Church of England on matters of relationships, sexuality, gender and marriage.

People painted a stained-glass window as a way of reflecting on diversity and the Church

Over the past 18 months churches across England have been encouraged to run the five-week Living in Love and Faith discussion course as a way of enabling people to contribute to the conversation.

The window for people to share their views via the Living in Love and Faith survey closes on April 30.

The results will inform discussions later this year by the College of Bishops and General Synod of the Church of England about whether there should be changes on matters like same-sex marriage.

Prayers were said for the next stage of the Living in Love and Faith process

During the prayer event, the Bishop of Exeter and General Synod members from the Diocese of Exeter were prayed for and given lit candles as a symbol of the key role they will now be playing in the LLF process.

People were also invited to paint panels of a stained-glass window based on the LLF logo as a way of reflecting on the Church being one body made-up of many different parts.

Some also shared their reflections about doing the LLF course. One person, who is in a civil partnership, said, “It worked, but it was hard.” Another said, “It enabled us to talk about things which are never normally talked about in church.”

Bishop Jackie, who is the LLF Advocate for the Diocese of Exeter, said “We’ve had this huge engagement with LLF across the diocese but now it’s being passed on to the General Synod members and the college of Bishops. It seemed important to mark that this is happening, to stand together and to offer it all to God in prayer.

“It’s been really beautiful, people who hold very different views to one another and have very different life experience have come together, offered their prayers and worshipped God together.

“I feel so grateful for all we have done together, for the journey that we’ve been on in the diocese, it’s not been without its challenges, but it has also been really joyful.”

The Living in Love and Faith prayer stations will be on display in Exeter Cathedral’s St John’s Chapel for the next month.