Thinking Anglicans

What bishops have to say about the LFF proposals

There is a video recording of Friday’s press conference to launch the LLF proposals, available here. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishop of London were among those taking part.

Oxford Prayers of thanksgiving and for God’s blessing for same-sex couples published

Bristol  Bishop of Bristol’s statement on the proposal regarding same-sex relationships

St Edmundsbury A message from Bishop Martin and Bishop Mike

Norwich A pastoral letter regarding the proposals from the House of Bishops following the Living in Love and Faith report

Manchester Bishop of Manchester | Living in Love and Faith Letter

Liverpool Bishops’ response to the Living in Love and Faith process outlined

Europe A letter to the Diocese from Bishop David on the publication of proposals to General Synod following LLF

Hereford Bishop Richard: statement on Living in Love and Faith

Chichester Living in Love and Faith – recent bishops’ meeting

Gloucester A message from Bishop Rachel and Bishop Robert

York Living in Love and Faith: a letter from the Archbishop and Bishops of the Diocese of York

Southwark Living In Love and Faith – Letter from Bishop Christopher to the Diocese of Southwark

Salisbury Ad clerum | Living in Love and Faith

Ely Living in Love and Faith (20 January 2022)

Lincoln Pastoral Letter to the Diocese

Birmingham Living in Love and Faith

Carlisle Bishops respond to Living In Love and Faith proposals

Derby Living in Love and Faith

Worcester Bishops publish draft prayers for blessing same-sex couples

Exeter Bishops Respond to Living in Love and Faith Proposals

Canterbury (Bp of Dover)

Truro LIVING IN LOVE & FAITH: COLLEGE OF BISHOPS PROPOSALS

Rochester Next Steps for Living in Love and Faith

Peterborough Living in Love and Faith

Coventry Living in Love and Faith – January 2023

Chelmsford Travelling Well Together – a pastoral letter from Bishop Guli, Bishop Roger and Bishop Lynne

More to be added as I discover them. Readers are welcome to submit additional links via the comments.

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JimmyW
JimmyW
1 year ago

Can anyone shed light on how the Prayers of Love and Faith will be implemented in parishes? The CofE statements says: “The prayers would be voluntary for clergy to use”. Does this mean the vicar decides (in prayerful conscience) which blessings that particular church will “allow”? Or does the PCC have a role in deciding this? Or the parishioners? Or will that become clear further down the line?

Geoff M.
Geoff M.
1 year ago

Is there any significance to the fact that the Europe statement was issued by the suffragan and not the diocesan?

Geoff M.
Geoff M.
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 year ago

That would certainly explain it!

Cynical observer
Cynical observer
1 year ago

This compendium will be very useful for the gerrymandered CNC that appoints the next Archbishop of Canterbury, to allow several potential candidates to be ruled out by the Anglican Communion blocking group without serious consideration.

Phil Groves
Phil Groves
Reply to  Cynical observer
1 year ago

That is indeed cynical. The Anglican Communion is more complex and nuanced than you may be led to believe. One rep may well be from TEC or the ACoC. GAFCON ‘Primates’ (you are talking between 3 and 6 Primates out of 41) will not participate and in other provinces GAFCON is disliked because they have split churches. You could have a more progressive contingent from the Anglican Communion than from England!

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Phil Groves
1 year ago

I’m late to this party, but I don’t think Cynical Observer is that far off base. At the last Lambeth Conference, bishops in same-sex legal (and so far as I know, fully approved of and blessed by their local provinces) marriages were told to leave their spouses behind. Other efforts to placate GAFCON and similar bishops, at the expense of GLBT folks, were also made, to no avail. GAFCON stayed away anyway. Archbishop Welby has made holding together the Anglican Communion, no matter the cost to GLBT laity, priests, and bishops, his primary goal, while saying how wonderful GLBT people… Read more »

Phil Groves
Phil Groves
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 year ago

Well – you are the experts – I just want to point out that GAFCON has boycotted everything – everything – over the last few years. Turning round now and trying to opt in would be extraordinary. They would not get the votes in Africa – they have alienated the other Primates. so who is going to represent GAFCON? Foley Beach? I don’t think so. I think you are more likely to see GAFCON sympathisers in the C of E than outside. I was there when 10 Global South Primates rose to cheer the election of Bp Michael Curry as… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Cynical observer
1 year ago

I, for one, think your comment is spot on.
I’m sure there will be prayers that the Holy Spirit will provide discernment as to the next ABC, but that guidance will be filtered through layers of human intermediaries.

Last edited 1 year ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Fr Dean
Fr Dean
1 year ago

Nothing as yet from the dioceses of Exeter and St Albans?

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Fr Dean
1 year ago

It is on the Exeter website

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Fr Dean
1 year ago

A bulletin from the Bishop of Albans was sent by the Communications Team of the diocese on 20 January, but it merely signposted to the Church of England website. There was no pastoral letter, at least not that I saw as a Reader.

Last edited 1 year ago by Anthony Archer
Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

I, personally, am glad that the Church of England’s bishops have made this epic step forward in an effort to rectify the institutional injustice that had prevailed in a climate of homophobia and sexism that both society and the Church had exercised. However, with the UK Government now legally enabling, for instance, the Civil Partnership or Marriage of Same-Sex Couples – together with its determination to ban the coercive culture of ‘Gay Conversion Therapy – the Church has recognised its need to abandon the ancient culture of homophobia and sexism by declaring same-sex committed faithful relationships to be worthy of… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

If you can’t be married by the church to the individual of your choice, are you truly a full member of said church? I don’t think so.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 year ago

A great soundbite, but like all oversimplifications, it doesn’t bear scrutiny. Many, possibly most, people can’t be married by the church “to the individual of [their] choice”, for example, because they’re already married, or divorced, or the person of their choice is already married, and so on.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

Now you’re just being picayune, UN…obviously, bigamy is still illegal even in a civil ceremony.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 year ago

That’s precisely my point. There are people who “obviously” aren’t allowed to be married by the church to the individual of their choice — but who is covered by that “obviously” varies. For example, it used to be clear that a man “obviously” should not marry his deceased wife’s sister. There was a time when divorced people “obviously” shouldn’t be married in church (and even today it is very much not obvious which divorcees are allowed remarriage). Today the church is split over whether people of the same sex “obviously” should or “obviously” should not be married in church. And… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

Today, the reasons why someone cannot be married in a CoE church are, for the most part, the same reasons they cannot be married in a registry office–they are barred by civil law, for reasons of bigamy, incest, or lack of age of consent. The one exception is being of the same sex as the proposed spouse.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 year ago

Not so … divorce is still a major obstacle. In particular, divorced people (with former spouse still living) do not have the right to be married in church.

But as this discussion goes on, the elaboration of the argument only goes to reinforce my original point: that a soundbite does not always stand up to scrutiny.

Father Ron Smith
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 year ago

Aye, Pat. And there’s the rub. One can still get legally married by the State – but not by the Church. There is a subtle (and sometimes hurtful) difference. Agape!

David Keen
David Keen
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 year ago

No children allowed in your church then?

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  David Keen
1 year ago

As I similarly note to UN, child marriage is illegal (in most places–regretfully, there are still some states in the USA where the legal age of consent is as low as 14). We are talking about the decision to marry by consenting adults who can legally marry under the civil laws, right?

Laurence Cunnington
Laurence Cunnington
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

I’m inclined to agree with you. What has been announced of course falls far short of complete equality but it is, nevertheless, a significant and symbolic move forward. The ratchet has clicked in the right direction and there can be no going back from that. I also ask myself why, if the bishops’ LLF proposals are nothing but stones instead of bread, would some evangelicals be so exercised and angered by them? I’m thinking, for example, of Ian Paul (who comments on this site from time to time) and those who follow his Psephizo blog.* Surely they would be celebrating… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Laurence Cunnington
Charles Clapham
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think this is indeed the ‘epic step forward’ that you hope, Father Ron. The commended prayers are NOT prayers for the blessing of same-sex marriages, but for the couples who have entered same-sex marriages/partnerships, and deliberately avoid any mention of marriage, vows, or sex. Such prayers for blessing, as the Archbishop has been careful to point out, do not imply endorsement or approval of same-sex marriages (after all, as he says, we pray for God to bless our enemies and those who persecute us). Clergy in the Church of England are already permitted to… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Clapham
Rosemarie Luff
Rosemarie Luff
1 year ago

Exeter’s 3 Bishops on trip to Holy Land with nearly 40 curates,but posted response on Friday 20th Jan on Exeter diocesan news.

Ronnie Smith
1 year ago

Having now watched the video described above, it was salutary to hear the Archbishop of York affirming the process by saying that he, personally, will be keen to conduct the Blessing of a Same-Sex Couple whose marriage has been legally conducted by the State. In certain European countries, the legal marriage is always brought into being by the State – that’s what makes it a legal marriage. The couple – at their own option – may then choose to seek what amounts to a Church recognition of an existing legal marriage, which has already happened. Is this a way through… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Ronnie Smith
Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
1 year ago

Nearly all of these are bland anodyne cut and paste jobs from the official C of E notes. Hardly anyone (St Eds and Ips excepted) have gone further. It all feels so managed and soul-less.

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
1 year ago

Could you extend your exception to Bristol? I thought that the Bishop there did go further.

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Graham Watts
1 year ago

Lichfield provided a thoughtful & useful response https://www.lichfield.anglican.org/llf–a-message-from-bishops-in-the-diocese-of-lichfield.php

Real contrast to the brief anodyne memo from Chi

Last edited 1 year ago by Francis James
Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Francis James
1 year ago

Lichfield miles ahead of the pack. Always has been.

Harry
Harry
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 year ago

Really? The three bishops in Lichfield (+Wolverhampton didn’t sign it) basically restate the status quo and seem happy with it. Other bishops such as Bristol and Oxford have said they’re sorry the College of BIshops didn’t recommend equal marriage and have made clear they’re in favour of that. I think that puts Lichfield squarely in the middle of the pack, having been well overtaken by several others.

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Harry
1 year ago

The Lichfield response clearly explained that Bishop of Wolverhampton did not sign because he had been unable to attend the bishops meeting.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Harry
1 year ago

Needs to be read in conjunction with their episcopal letter to all clergy and laity ’Honouring and Welcoming LGBT+ People’ (2018).

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 year ago

Indeed. And Bishop Michael is fantastic. Have the very highest respect for him.

Ann Reddecliffe
Ann Reddecliffe
1 year ago
Sue Ann Smith
Sue Ann Smith
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
1 year ago

Strange because the bishop of Leicester recently signed this: https://southwell.anglican.org/the-church-of-englands-doctrine-of-marriage/

Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

Bishop David Walker here expresses his own opinion of what he feels ought to happen: – “I have never made a secret of my views. I would be delighted to serve as bishop in a church that fully celebrated the committed, exclusive and faithful love of two adults, regardless of whether they were of same or different sexes. I believe that view to be consonant with my reading of scripture, which has always sought to interpret individual texts in the light of the overall core themes the bible sets out. I recognise that others, including members of our own Leadership… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Father Ron Smith
Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
1 year ago

I was always under the impression that the ministers of the sacrament at a marriage were the people becoming married. The priest witnessed and blessed the marriage.
Perhaps I am missing something but if a same- sex couple plight their troth either to other and then the plighting is acknowledged and blessed by a priest, is that not what a marriage is?

Jeremy Pemberton
Jeremy Pemberton
1 year ago

The Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham has so far found itself unable to make any statement at all on the matter. It is as if last week had never happened.

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Jeremy Pemberton
1 year ago

Nor has London, which I suppose has a significant number of priests and people at both ends of the spectrum.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Jeremy Pemberton
1 year ago

The least inclusive episcopal team in any diocese in the Church of England, as you know earlier to your cost.

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 year ago

Worse than Chi? Wow!

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Francis James
1 year ago

Well at least Chi has some gender balance!!

Last edited 1 year ago by Anthony Archer
Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 year ago

Admittedly one of two Chichester area/suffragan bishops is female, but that is not a great step forward as my understanding is that she is Conservative Evangelical except (obviously) as regards female priests & bishops. All four Archdeacons are male.
It really would be nice to have someone in Chichester hierarchy who was even vaguely on the liberal spectrum – whether Evangelical or Anglo-Catholic

Laurence Cunnington
Laurence Cunnington
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 year ago

For the sake of fairness, it should be noted that the present diocesan and suffragan bishops in Southwell & Nottingham are not the same people that were in those roles during Jeremy Pemberton’s legal action against the diocese. As Jeremy mentions above, S&N diocese has not yet made any comment on the LLF outcomes.

Last edited 1 year ago by Laurence Cunnington
Susannah Clark
1 year ago

A further and more detailed version of your link to the Coventry diocese, in the Bishop of Coventry’s letter to all clergy and readers in his diocese: Includes: ” the Church of England’s received understanding of marriage as set out in our canons and authorised liturgies, remains. As we know, some bishops have come to believe that the doctrine and practice of marriage should be developed or extended to include same-sex unions. Others, the majority (including me), are not persuaded by those arguments and remain convinced that ‘holy matrimony’, to use the words of the Prayer Book, is the joining together… Read more »

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