Reconciling Communities are places where people share the love of God across difference, and experience the restoration of relationships with others, with themselves, with creation, and with God.
Florence Gildea, Social Policy Advisor to The Bishop of Leicester, has recently written a piece exploring 'What does it mean to be a reconciling community when everyone seems to be getting along?' which is really helpful when thinking about how we can all engage in this subject. Download here.
Our focus on Reconciling Communities includes:
Identity & Sexuality – presently using a suite of resources produced by the national church (Living in Love and Faith) exploring Christian teaching and learning about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
Women’s ministry – Under the ‘five guiding principles’ (agreed by General Synod when legislation was introduced to affirm that women could be bishops) we are continuing to review how we work in a way which respects the theological integrity of different positions and encourages the flourishing of all.
Racial Equity Strategy - we have developed and adopted our Diocesan Racial Equity Strategy to counter structural racism in the church and ensure that people of all cultures and backgrounds are treated with respect and dignity. The St Philip’s Centre leading on our interfaith work with an aim of helping communities learn how to live well together. This also connects with Intercultural Communities work.
Social Responsibility (including Together Leicester) partnering with a whole range of agencies in the city and county addressing issues from homelessness, deprivation, to financial inclusion and disability. Supporting ministry in areas that are disadvantaged by experiencing higher levels of deprivation.
Reconciliation is a call to restore relationships in every sphere of life. As Christians, we are called to ‘be reconciled’ and to engage in what is often the hardest, but also the best, representation of the Gospel. As individuals and as societies we need reconciliation at every level. From our own relationship with God, to relationships in workplaces, wider communities and the whole of creation. Each of these is interconnected: fractures at one level can have damaging impact on another. There are a number of areas of work we are engaged in that are seeking to overcome divides in society or in the church.