The Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith teaching and learning resources, exploring questions of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage, have been published today.
The extensive resources draw together the bible, theology, science and history with real-life stories. They were commissioned by the House of Bishops and include a book, a series of films and podcasts and a course following three years’ work by a group of more than 40 people from across the Church.
They are intended to initiate a process of whole Church learning and engagement in 2021, within a clear timeframe, that will contribute to the Bishops’ discernment of a way forward in relation to questions of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, said: “These new teaching and learning resources are an important part of the Church of England’s engagement with the complex issues of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
“I hope that churches will have good conversations within and between themselves, whatever their background or tradition, as we listen and learn together. The Living In Love and Faith resources offer real-life examples of people’s journeys from a wide variety of starting points to aid these ongoing conversations, while being shaped by the rich guidance of Holy Scripture, Christian tradition and contemporary science.
“We want these conversations to move graciously beyond polarising views, to bring people together and to help us all to grow as disciples of Jesus.
“We appreciate that many churches and communities are under pressure due to the Covid-pandemic. There is no rush to begin these conversations straight away but in the new year I would encourage churches to engage with this carefully prepared material as we seek to discern God’s will in these crucial areas.”
The Living in Love and Faith resources include a 480-page book, a course for discussion groups, a series of films and podcasts and an online library of other publications in what is thought to be the most extensive work in this area by any faith group in the world.