Statement following LLF debate at July 2024 General Synod

The Trustees of Together for the Church of England welcome today’s vote by all three Houses of General Synod for the ongoing development of the Living in Love & Faith project. These include the decision to enable ‘standalone’ services for same-sex couples, provide pastoral reassurance for different conscientious positions, and replace Issues in Human Sexuality with new pastoral guidance and other documents. We look forward to the efficient progression of the work so detailed proposals can be received by General Synod in February 2025.

We wish to record our thanks to all involved in the development of the proposals, especially Bishop Martyn Snow, Nick Shepherd, Georgie Morgan and other Church House staff who have worked hard to enable different voices to be heard. It was good to hear both Martyn and Archbishop Justin refer by name to Together and we appreciate this recognition of our role as a key partner in ongoing dialogue.

The LLF Programme Board, Working Groups and College and House of Bishops have all contributed to a framework which provides a new welcome for LGBTQIA+ Christians in the Church of England, especially for those in committed same-sex relationships, but which will not oblige anyone to act against their conscience. We look forward to continuing to work with all concerned on refining the detail of the proposals in the coming months. In supporting this vote, we recognise that the outcome is only a small step in one area towards the full inclusion we seek, and pay tribute to all those who are faithfully waiting for change. Especially we are grateful to all those on Synod who spoke from their varied perspectives with passion and clarity. We pray that those who hold a traditional view will continue to engage with honesty and kindness, as they have so far, in order that we may seek together for the welfare of the whole Church of England. Our hope is for a Church where there is space at the table for all perspectives on LLF and we intend to continue to work for this end.


Comments

7 responses to “Statement following LLF debate at July 2024 General Synod”

  1. Mark Chater Avatar
    Mark Chater

    It is wonderful news. Thanks be to God for the work of all the groups, including Together, and the LLF Programme Board. You rightly say this is one small step, but it is !hard-won and welcome.
    One small cavil: please don’t refer to those who opposed it as ‘traditionalists’. They are anything but. In our vision of an all-loving, all inclusive God, we are faithful to the tradition. Their seizure of the mantle of tradition, orthodoxy and biblical faithfulness is always to be contested.

  2. Rev Canon Carla Hampton Avatar
    Rev Canon Carla Hampton

    It is good that all 3 houses are agreed that the important work on LLF should continue and grow, with the option for no one to be forced to go against their own conscience. Just 1 question- has there been any movement for those who have already been married to someone of the same gender, to be able to be ordained? I have met many students who sense that calling, but who have not been allowed to be anything other than a Licensed Lay Minister, an important part of the church’s ministry, but not the sacramental ministry of a priest. This makes me very sad.

  3. Stephen Barney Avatar
    Stephen Barney

    May we continue to walk this tightrope and hold the church together.

  4. Adrian Jones Avatar
    Adrian Jones

    Good, clear statement- thank you. I’d urge everyone to take a few minutes and to read Bishop Martyn’s speech – a generous vision that can move us all forward.

  5. Paula Blake Avatar
    Paula Blake

    I am so please that there was kindness and honesty and that we are moving to be a more loving Church

  6. Penny Beschizza Avatar
    Penny Beschizza

    Thank goodness after several Synods, LLF is “coming home” properly.
    Thanks to highly-reasoned discussions & discourses via Social Media, like FB’s Inclusive Evangelicals, Together for the CoE, and others involving intersectionality (especially inc us Deaf & Disabled congregations & clergy) we gained a bigger picture of how LLF is applied in church services – and church life.

  7. Fr Benjamin Edwards Avatar
    Fr Benjamin Edwards

    This is welcome news, and I look forward to being able to offer the PLF in stand alone services in the future.
    Like many, I fear that it won’t be taken up as much as many of us would like – whilst it is progress it falls short of a true equality.
    I concur with the commenter above regards to ‘tradition’, having been co-opted by elements of the church that seems to be selective about the gospel they receive. Love, grace and peace is the true orthodoxy, and perhaps that has not always been demonstrated in the theologies or rhetoric of a variety of traditions that make up the Anglican Communion.
    So despite this step forward, the road ahead is indeed long, and likely to be measured in generations rather than years. I would, therefore, urge clergy and lay leaders to move as close to the boundaries as possible, that we all inhabit that space rather than one or two be seen as troubadours!

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