The Church of England has published Living in Love and Faith (LLF) resources to help us look at Christian teaching and learnings on identity, sexuality and marriage with respect and a genuine commitment to living and listening well across difference.
The resources are available for individuals and church settings (see details further below) and aim to help the Church embark on a period of reflection through 2021 and into 2022. It is hoped that churches and fresh expressions will use them to have gracious and honest discussions, and to engage in mutual listening and learning. LLF itself is not about coming to any particular conclusions or decisions but about genuine dialogue and living well together with difference.
The resources are available from the LLF hub which can be found here: https://llf.churchofengland.org/
Those who use the resources are then encouraged to feed into a process of discernment using a survey which is also available from the hub. Groups and individuals are able to complete the survey up until the end of April 2022.
What has happened in the Diocese so far
The Living Well Together (LWT) Group was convened by Bishop Martyn and Bishop Guli (then Bishop of Loughborough) in January 2020 in anticipation of the publication of the LLF resources. Andy Brockbank took on the role of LLF Advocate from February 2021. For more information about the role of the group and Advocate see below.
The activity of the LWT group in 2021 resulted in
- 4 LLF courses offered at diocesan level
- A Taster Day took place in September
- Presentations to 6 Deanery Synods or Chapters
- Around 25 facilitators trained by the national LLF Enabler
Alongside this, we know that some churches, benefices and deaneries have already run the LLF course, but we don’t have a complete picture of how many courses have been run in the diocese and where. If your church has run a course it would be really helpful if you could let Andy Brockbank, diocesan LLF advocate, know to give us an idea of how widely the course is being taken up.
What’s on in 2022
The main task up to the end of April is to mobilize people to engage with the LLF resources and feed into the discernment process. Two more courses offered through the diocese are starting in January and we expect that more will be offered starting in March.
The Living Well Together Group is also engaged in planning ways for LLF to be part of the Diocese of Leicester Synod agenda during the course of the year.
The output from comment into the survey will be available from September and it is anticipated that it will be possible to present information specific to this diocese to our Synod in September or December.
Chaplaincy and Advocate
LLF involves engaging across difference about matters that are deeply personal and relate to questions of identity. A number of people have come forward to offer chaplaincy to those who feel vulnerable or need support as a result of taking part in the course or engaging with the resources.
Our LLF chaplains are as follows:
- Revd Canon Karen Rooms
Priest of St Nicholas Leicester, https://stnicholasleicester.com/ , member of the Inclusive Church network
Co-convenor of diocese wide (and ecumenical) forum for LGBTQIA+ Christians
- Revd Wendy Dalrymple
Rector of All Saints, Loughborough, member of the Inclusive Church network. Chair of House of Clergy of Leicester Diocese Synod.
- Revd Canon Chris Oxley
In city parishes in Leicester for 25 years, followed by six years in rural parishes and retired four years ago. Heads up the Chaplaincy Team at the cathedral, also a Spiritual Director. Currently attached to St Mary de Castro in Leicester.
- Martin Pilton and Jackie Wainwright
Parents to LGBTQI+ children; offering affirming support to other parents with questions arising from LLF discussions.
- Ven Richard Worsfold
Archdeacon of Leicester, previously Vicar of The Church of the Martyrs in Leicester and also served at Ratby, Groby, Newtown Linford and Countesthorpe
As LLF Advocate, Andy Brockbank is available to support those who are seeking to run the LLF course or engage with the resources in some way. He can also be contacted with general questions about LLF. This may involve helping to match a group with a facilitator where necessary.
Andy Brockbank: 07432 605 985, email@example.com
Living Well Together Group
The LWT group is a diverse group of clergy and lay people, diocesan staff and Synod representatives. The group was originally convened by Bishop Martyn and Bishop Guli in January 2020. The current membership of the group is set out below, with a number of changes having taken place during 2021 mainly due to members taking on new positions in their wider ministries.
The Group sees its role as follows:
- To model living well together
- To steer the LLF process in the diocese and through Diocesan Synod
- To advise and support the LLF Advocate
Meetings take place roughly every 6-8 weeks during 2022. We don’t know yet exactly when the group will feel that its work is done, but this is likely to be once the output from the survey has been considered by the Diocese of Leicester Synod.
The following people are members of the group:
Vic Allsop, Jon Barrett, Anna Bland, Andy Brockbank, Jay Hulme, Noreen Mewies, Saju Muthalaly, Philip O’Reilly, Penny Pullan, Karen Rooms, Martyn Snow, Evernice Tirivanhu, Clive Watts, Sue Willetts.