Our diocese will engage in a range of exciting ways with the Church of England’s long-awaited Living in Love and Faith resources, writes Bishop Nick.
On Monday this week the national church published its Living in Love and Faith book, plus a video version of the LLF course and there is also an LLF Learning Hub which contains specially commissioned films and podcasts and an online library for further study.
In a letter to clergy, Bishop Nick explained how these resources will lead to pilot courses across the diocese in 2021:
“In the Diocese of Leeds, we are seeking to engage with LLF in a number of ways: by running a number of pilot LLF courses in the early part of 2021 enabling different contexts and traditions to work with the material; a wider encouragement for parishes, benefices, deaneries and other-sector ministry contexts to run the LLF course after Easter 2021; engagement by the Bishop’s staff team with the LLF materials in 2021.
This work will be supported and overseen by a diocesan steering group chaired by Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley. Details of this group will be made available soon.”
He also explained the goals and timespan of the LLF project, which was launched in 2017 in order to help the Church move forward in its conversations about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage:
“ These conversations have been taking place for decades, and have often been characterised by heat and polarised debate.
“The LLF resources have been produced to help us have more informed dialogue about these challenging topics - a healthier engagement within strong relationships.
“Any outcome will be informed by our conversations over the next 18 months or so.”
The launch of Living in Love and faith has fallen during the nation’s second Covid-19 lockdown, but Bishop Nick said it was decided to be too important to delay:
“As bishops, we recognise there are many challenges facing us currently, and the Church thought very carefully about whether to proceed with the launch or delay it.
“The decision to go ahead with the launch reflects the desire to move on in our engagement with the questions around human identity and sexuality.
“We hope that you will be open to exploring the issues afresh, and that in our living, loving and learning we may continue to find ways to reveal God’s Kingdom wherever we are.”
The resources are available via churchofengland.org/LLF.