Bishop Martyn has spoken about the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process in his Presidential Addresses at recent Diocesan Synod meetings where there have been discussions about the process. He has also recently (January 2023) recorded a video on our diocesan priority of Reconciling Communities, highlighting his ongoing commitment to retaining the unity of the Church across difference.
There are, of course, diverse perspectives among the Church of England bishops in relation to identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage but Bishop Martyn and Bishop Saju believe there is common ground in the bishops’ desire to preserve the gift of unity in Christ’s Body, the Church.
In the recent vlog (click here to watch in full), Bishop Martyn spoke about LLF and other matters and asked: “Is it possible of churches of very different traditions, different outlooks on the Christian faith to be able to work together? I don’t for a moment under-estimate the significance of what we’re talking about.
“There are many who want us to move quickly to blessing or even conducting same sex marriage services whilst at the same time there are those who are very clear that if the CofE were to do that they would struggle to remain a part of the CofE.
“This is why Bishop Saju and I take our role as bishops, in holding the unity of the diocese, very seriously.
“We are having a series of meetings with different groups of people to explore the LLF process more deeply. What will it mean if the CofE does start to change its current position?
“I don’t take it lightly that Bishop Saju and I carry this responsibility of trying to maintain the unity of the Church and whether we’ll be able to achieve that or not, I don’t know. The coming months will tell us more.
“What I do know is that I deeply, deeply value a church that is diverse, a church where people can hold very different views and nevertheless can live well together, can worship together, can work together in God’s kingdom.
“This is the goal as far as I am concerned, whilst acknowledging there are always limits to diversity. We’re not saying anything goes. We must have grown-up debates about these difficult issues.
“In all sorts of ways we seek to live well together across difference. I am hopeful that God is going to work among us such that we can do that in the coming months and years.”
You can read the Church of England's announcement here: Bishops propose prayers of thanksgiving, dedication and for God’s blessing for same-sex couples | The Church of England
A number of people have come forward to offer chaplaincy to those who feel vulnerable or need support in light of the LLF process. The full list of chaplains can be found here.