Living in Love and Faith is Launched
Christians in Devon are being invited to “listen and learn together” after the Church of England published its new Living in Love and Faith resources looking at questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
They include a book, study guides, podcasts and a powerful series of real-life personal story films.
The resources, which draw together the Bible, theology, science and history are part of a new process of discernment and decision-making on issues which many in the Church find divisive.
“What is needed is really deep listening to each other and to God” Bishop Jackie
The Bishop of Crediton, the Right Reverend Jackie Searle, is the Diocese of Exeter champion for the Living in Love and Faith process.
Speaking on BBC Radio Devon, she said, “The resources examine questions that go to the heart of our human identity, and most crucially, people’s lived experiences.
“There are many people who would like to see some sort of change in our attitudes towards marriage and same sex relationships.
“There are many others who would not.
“What is needed is really deep listening to one another and to God.
“I think Living in Love and Faith is an excellent resource for people to use.”
The resources are the product of three years’ work by more than 40 people, led by the Bishop of Coventry.
The House of Bishops has appealed to the whole Church of England to participate in learning together, using the resources for “open, honest and gracious discussion, listening and learning.”
The Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend Nick McKinnel, said “A great deal of work has gone into producing these resources, and those who have produced them have done their best to get a balance between orthodox and progressive views.
“Part of the purpose is to help us understand the thinking and experience of those who feel differently to us, so let’s engage graciously and respectfully both in listening and in speaking.”
Going forward, a group of bishops, chaired by the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Dame Sarah Mullally, will lead the process of discernment and decision-making about a way forward for the church in relation to human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
Clergy in the Diocese of Exeter have been invited on a study day to learn more about the new resources later this month.
Churches will then be encouraged to use the material for learning and engagement during 2021.
The House of Bishops is due to make recommendations in 2022 which will be put before the Synod (decision-making body) of the Church of England.