The Church of England has produced resources relating to Christian teaching and learning about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage
21st April 2021Church News
The Church of England has been struggling for some time to find ways of resolving the disagreements that exist at all levels within the church on questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage, and on our pastoral practices in relation to these questions. These are questions which some of us may not want to consider and may instinctively seek to avoid. For some of us they may be painful and difficult to contemplate. But they will not easily go away and we cannot ignore them for much longer.
Following the General Synod meeting of February 2017 the Archbishops issued a joint letter in which they said that
‘We need a radical new Christian inclusion in the church. This must be founded in Scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology and the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and a proper twenty-first century understanding of being human and being sexual.’
This led to the Living in Love and Faith project, the results of which were published earlier this year in the form of a set of resources, including a book, a short course, video materials and a comprehensive reading list.
The Bishops of the Church of England have invited every one of us to engage with these resources and to learn ‘…how the Christian understanding of God relates to questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.’ Above all they exhort us to walk with them ‘…in a new stage of our common life in Christ so that speaking the truth in love, godly discernment and right decisions can be made over contested matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage’. Their prayer is that ‘…all of us, the people of God, take time and listen and learn together.’
The Diocese of Durham will be discussing this at Diocesan Synod in May and encouraging parishes to study the materials and to use the Living in Love and Faith course as a study course. The Parish will be providing a course probably in the Autumn. Watch this space for more details.
Living in Love and Faith materials are available at www.churchofengland.org/LLF