Living in Love and Faith

LLF: The big picture

‘Living In Love and Faith’ (LLF) is a set of resources for the whole Church of England which explore and enable discussion about Christian teaching and learning on relationships, identity, sexuality and marriage. The Archbishops and Bishops are encouraging the whole Church to engage with the resources, with the aim of completing the process for those who wish to take part, by Easter 2022. St Matt’s is therefore engaging with it this term.

LLF is primarily a listening exercise, seeking to hear from and learn from God and each other. Those who have taken part in the LLF course will have the opportunity to feedback views and reflections to the Bishops and General Synod. This feedback will form part of the decision-making process as the Church of England discerns a godly way forwards, particularly in relation to decisions about same sex marriage.

Intended objectives of the LLF course

The Church of England has set out what might be achieved through doing the course. As a result of engaging with the Living in Love & Faith resources, it is hoped that people and church communities will:

  • Be inspired by scripture’s glorious and joyful vision of God’s intention for human life.
  • Have discovered how to engage with rich biblical, theological, historical and scientific thinking about human identity, sexuality and marriage in a way that deepens their desire to know God and follow Christ.
  • Have a deeper understanding of the Church’s inherited teaching on Christian living in love and faith, especially with regard to marriage and singleness, and of emergent views and the Christian reasoning behind them.
  • Have heard the voices and encountered the experiences of people who would otherwise have been invisible to them.
  • Have learned different ways of reading scripture together well, allowing it to exert its transforming and revelatory power.
  • Find help for everyday Christian discipleship in all its diversity, physicality, messiness and grittiness.
  • Be alert to the interaction between the life of the church and its cultural contexts and equipped to engage in the public square about what it means to be human and sexual.

These are big aims for a five-week course. For those taking part, the course is likely to be the beginning, not the end, of this journey. Those taking part in the LLF course are expected to do so graciously, recognising that the course is not so much about putting forward your own views, but rather listening to the different voices from within and outside of the church (as told through the videos) and prayerfully reflecting on them as a group. Each group will be facilitated by a trained person, and pastoral care if needed, will be available for anyone during the course.

Course format

At St Matts, how we offer the course (on line/in person), will depend on how many express an interest, and the circumstances at the time. You can indicate your preference on the booking form. The sessions will be a mix of high-quality teaching videos and group discussion.

Course time and dates

The course will run over five sessions which will be 1½ hours long. We will aim to do these across February/March. Ideally participants will attend each of the five main course sessions, making them a priority in their diaries. As soon as we know the level of interest, the number of groups there will be and therefore the number of facilitators required, we shall initiate times and dates with group facilitators.

Still got questions?

If you’d like to have a chat with one of the Ministry Team before you decide whether to take part, please contact the office with an outline of your question, and one of the church leaders will be in touch as soon as they are able.

If you are ready to book onto the course, PLEASE RESPOND BY WEDNESDAY 19th JANUARY LATEST. Please provide the information below and send it to the church office.

We will be in touch with you nearer the time with further details.

Yours in Christ

Ian

Rev Ian Tomkins, Vicar St Matthews Bristol

Booking information

First and Last name:

Contact email and telephone number:

Availability: Evening or daytime or Both

Course type preference: Zoom or In Person or Either?

Confirmation that you have read the intended objectives of the course and are willing to engage with the content and other participants prayerfully and respectfully.

Accessibility and special requirements: If there are ways that we can help you to engage well with this course, please ask.