Living in Love and Faith

Living in Love and Faith is a process initiated by the Church of England in 2017 to consider questions of sexuality, relationship and marriage.  Over the last five years everyone was invited to come together to learn and listen to one and other and to God.  

The findings of the responses to this churchwide engagement were published on 2 September 2022 under the title, ‘Listening with Love and Faith’. A resource, ‘Friendship and the Body of Christ’, was also published to encourage reflection and conversations about what it means to be church with diversity and difference. They can be found here.   

The College of Bishops has gathered together on three occasions between September 2022 and January 2023 to agree on outcomes from this process to bring to General Synod in February 2023.   

The proposals, announced on 18 January, offer the fullest possible pastoral provision for all relationships without changing the Church’s doctrine of Holy Matrimony for same-sex couples. This would be provided through a range of draft prayers, known as Prayers of Love and Faith, which could be used voluntarily in churches for couples who have marked a significant stage of their relationship such as a civil marriage or civil partnership.  

Same-sex couples would still not be able to get married in a Church of England church, but could have a service in which there would be prayers of dedication, thanksgiving or for God’s blessing on the couple in church following a civil marriage or partnership. 
The formal teaching of the Church of England as set out in the canons and authorised liturgies – that Holy Matrimony is between one man and one woman for life – would not change. 
The prayers would be voluntary for clergy to use and could be used in different combinations reflecting the theological diversity of the Church. 

These proposals were presented to General Synod in February. After lengthy debate Synod passed a motion which said:

That this Synod, recognising the commitment to learning and deep listening to God and to each other of the Living in Love and Faith process, and desiring with God’s help to journey together while acknowledging the different deeply held convictions within the Church:  

(a) lament and repent of the failure of the Church to be welcoming to LGBTQI+ people and the harm that LGBTQI+ people have experienced and continue to experience in the life of the Church;  

(b) recommit to our shared witness to God’s love for and acceptance of every person by continuing to embed the Pastoral Principles in our life together locally and nationally;  

(c) commend the continued learning together enabled by the Living in Love and Faith process and resources in relation to identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage;   

(d) welcome the decision of the House of Bishops to replace Issues in Human Sexuality with new pastoral guidance;  

(e) welcome the response from the College of Bishops and look forward to the House of Bishops further refining, commending and issuing the Prayers of Love and Faith described in GS 2289 and its Annexes;  

(f) invite the House of Bishops to monitor the Church’s use of and response to the Prayers of Love and Faith, once they have been commended and published, and to report back to Synod in five years’ time; 

(g) endorse the decision of the College and House of Bishops not to propose any change to the doctrine of marriage, and their intention that the final version of the Prayers of Love and Faith should not be contrary to or indicative of a departure from the doctrine of the Church of England.’ 

The Bishops have undertaken to refine the prayers and prepare new pastoral guidance which will help clergy as they work with these new resourses.  The prayers and pastoral guidance will be brought back to Synod in July after which they may be commended for use. 

For more information on the General Synod and the diocese members see here

You can find out more about the Living in Love and Faith journey here.  

LLF Chaplains

If you wish to discuss the LLF process or you are finding it is affecting you personally, you are welcome to contact our team of LLF Chaplains, led by the Bishop's Chaplain Steve Benoy, who represent a diverse range of views and experience. Email Steve at to put you in contact with an appropriate Chaplain.  



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