Living in Love and Faith

Living in Love and Faith Image

Questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage affect everyone, both inside and outside the church. As Christians, we have good news to share: we are all made in God’s image and equally loved by God. But we also have different views and experiences about these things. These questions of faith, identity, gender and sexuality are felt very deeply and can be difficult to talk about. Many churches are reluctant to address these topics but we must begin to talk openly and freely.

Commissioned and led by the Bishops of the Church of England, Living in Love and Faith (LLF) is about encouraging the whole church to think more deeply about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage in the bigger context of being human. It is an invitation to people, whatever their background and experience, to think more deeply about what it means to be human and to live in love and faith together. It’s about understanding different perspectives and each other better. 

We hope it will change the way people relate to, understand and love each other in the church, even when we disagree. In a local context, it is about committing to a five-week or five-session course designed to help people to listen and learn together.

To find out more, please take a look at our FAQs page

Preparing to run an LLF course 

Following the official launch of LLF across the Diocese of Bristol in May, we are now inviting parishes and groups to consider - and prepare to run - LLF courses in Autumn 2021. The 5 session course involves a group of participants working through the LLF materials together that are available on the LLF learning hub online. These will include written materials, videos and shared reflections.

As a diocese we are committed to training facilitators, who will be able to host the conversations and ensure that people are able to speak safely and in ways that allow others to hear. We want to support people to be honest and open, but in ways that are respectful of others and of the potential impact on them. 

The Diocese of Bristol's LLF team have so far trained 20 facilitators and have five further dates planned in September for training both central and parish-based facilitators – click here to book. We are encouraging parishes to collaborate with neighbouring parishes to provide facilitators for each other, meaning that all those who want to be part of a group can engage fully without having to take the role of facilitator.

The latest that groups can add to the national conversation is around the end of January 2022. If you have any questions, or concerns, please email the LLF team.

Please note that we have chaplains drawn from across the diocese who are ready and willing to offer chaplaincy support to people within our churches who are taking part in LLF groups. If anyone would value a chat with a chaplain, please email the LLF advocates and we will allocate one to get in touch.

Praying for Living in Love and Faith

We would like to invite people to commit themselves to become LLF prayer partners who will pray regularly for every aspect of our journeying as a diocese, for those who take part in the courses, and above all for open hearts, deep compassion and a desire to hear what God is saying to his church. You will be able to join together in a number of different ways of praying, both together and in your own personal devotions.

If you would be willing to commit to praying, and would like the details of our weekly LLF Prayer Meetings each Wednesday on Zoom, please get in touch

The national LLF prayer for use by individuals and parishes:

God, whose name is Love,
whose gift is life,
whose word holds all in being;
bless ‘Living in Love and Faith’ to your church
as we seek to grow together
into the truth of our humanity and longings,
into communities where all find welcome,
into the fullness that is your image in us;
through the Word made flesh,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.