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New group asked to provide ‘insight’ on prayers to bless same-sex couples

08 August 2023

Sam Atkins/Church Times

Living and Love and Faith is discussed at the General Synod in York in July

Living and Love and Faith is discussed at the General Synod in York in July

A NEW group created by the co-chairs of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) Steering Group is to meet next month. It will discuss proposals, which will be brought to the General Synod in November, for providing prayers for same-sex couples in church.

The co-chairs of the steering group — the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, and the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen — have sent invitations to people “across different traditions of the Church” to join three facilitated conversations.

The group, whose members have been involved in the LLF process before or have “lived experience” of the issues, will be asked to “provide their insight and reflections” on the proposals.

A notice on the Church of England website explains that the outcomes of these conversations will “feed into discussions” at meetings of the College and House of Bishops in the autumn.

Bishop Mullally said that the creation of the group was part of a consultation process promised at the meeting of the Synod last month (News, 14 July). “The House and the College of Bishops have a real desire to create a loving, generous, ecclesial, and pastoral space, despite deeply held differences of opinion, in which we can share our ministry and implement the motion agreed by the Synod in February,” she said.

“There is a desire to joyfully offer a pastoral response to loving, faithful, and long-term same-sex relationships. There is at the same time no intention of changing the doctrine of marriage as expressed in the canons and the authorised liturgy of the Church of England.”

She continued: “Holding these commitments together is at times painful and complex. As part of this we are seeking to listen to people’s hopes and concerns, and to ensure that they are satisfied that their views have been taken into consideration.”

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