Our Diocese prepares for our Living in Love and Faith Conversations

First published on: 2nd March 2021

 

Click here for an up to date guide to the LLF process in Liverpool

 

The next stage of our preparations for the national church’s important Living in Love and Faith conversations took place on zoom recently with special sessions led by the Bishop of Warrington.

Bishop Bev, who is a member of the Church of England’s LLF Next Steps Group is leading the conversation in our diocese. She commented “Over 300 Liverpool leaders attended the sessions and brought their hopes and concerns and intelligent discourse as they explored how this would work in their contexts.  Leaders were generously open and honest about their feelings on this massively significant conversation for the church and the nation.”

The zoom Introductory sessions were designed to give people confidence in holding the conversations locally. As well as Dr Eva John giving us a guide to the process and the national resources, we were joined by Revd Canon Mal Rogers and Revd Canon Dr Sarah Hills who have been doing immense work in Reconciliation. 

They talked about Brave Space – How to learn together safely, drawing heavily upon the St Michael’s House protocols and the Pastoral Principles. They emphasised how establishing a safe space will ensure every person is respected and heard and that good and safe conversations can happen.

Bishop Bev said “we hope these familiarisation sessions have given people a greater degree of confidence in hosting these important conversations. I know that it can seem daunting with all that is happening at the moment but we are committed as a diocese to supporting parishes and deaneries with these conversations.”

llf.churchofengland.org

Supporting your LLF conversation

You can get support for your LLF conversation from an oversight team led by Bishop Bev.

The team includes Rev Amanda Bruce and Canon Malcolm Rogers, Kieran Bohan, Warren Hartley and Revd Dan Leathers who are able to help and advise leaders on holding these conversations.

Rev Dawn Harrison is co-ordinating LLF chaplains to support leaders and participants. 

You can access that support and ask any questions by emailing  llfchaplaincy@liverpool.anglican.org
 

The timescale for the conversation

The most important part of LLF is to run the course and have meaningful conversations.   But equally important is the timescale set out by the national church for continuing the conversation in the House of Bishops and General Synod.

In our diocese we aim to have a discussion at our Diocesan Synod meeting scheduled for October and we will give more details on that nearer the time.

Bishop Bev said “I have spent a lot of time, now, with the national steering group, digging deeper into what it means to be human in terms of our gender, sexuality, relationships and marriage, building the LLF resources and listening to people with a wide variety of theological understanding, opinions and feelings. And I know how difficult, personally challenging but ultimately how rewarding our committed engagement is.

These conversations go to the very heart of what it means to be human and what it means to be a disciple of Christ in the twenty-first century.  I am massively encouraged by the interest and take-up of colleagues and deeply grateful for their commitment.  Many people are being taken beyond their comfort zone.  What they’ll discover with the Course is that it is very user friendly and the conversations are guided.  My prayer is that as we engage with LLF across our diocese we will truly learn what it means to live in love and faith.”
 

About Living in Love and Faith

Living in Love and Faith is the Church of England’s national conversation on human identity As the Church of England website states

“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.”


The LLF Resource Hub

You can find the LLF resources at the Living in Love and Faith Learning Hub. Here you will find a five-session video course, podcasts, films, and an extensive library of resources.

Bishop Bev said “the LLF conversation is an important conversation that reaches every aspect of our faith so it is important we do it well. The national resources are an excellent help in supporting parishes holding those conversations and I encourage leaders to explore the learning hub to really get to grips with the material and how you can use it in your context. 

For assistance, please email llf@liverpool.anglican.org.
 

"My prayer is that as we engage with LLF across our diocese we will truly learn what it means to live in love and faith.”

 

Access the national LLF Resources

Supporting your LLF conversation

You can get support for your LLF conversation from an oversight team led by Bishop Bev.

The team includes Rev Amanda Bruce and Canon Malcolm Rogers, Kieran Bohan, Warren Hartley and Revd Dan Leathers who are able to help and advise leaders on holding these conversations.

Rev Dawn Harrison is co-ordinating LLF chaplains to support leaders and participants. 

You can access that support and ask any questions by emailing llfchaplaincy@liverpool.anglican.org


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