Living in Love and Faith

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Latest news

  • 8 May 2024 - The membership of new LLF groups have been announced, including bishops and members of General Synod. The three working groups are looking at specific questions connected to implementation of the Prayers of Love and Faith, and the pastoral guidance and pastoral reassurance accompanying this. More information on the Church of England website.

  • 14 December 2023 - The House of Bishops has now commended the Prayers of Love and Faith for use in regular public worship from Sunday 17 December. More information and pastoral guidance are available on the Church of England website. The prayers are offered as pastoral provision for those clergy and parishes who want to make use of them. If you have questions on the commentry and guidance, please direct these to your area team.

  • 15 November 2023 – General Synod backs trial of special services asking for God’s blessing for same-sex couples
    Special services of prayer and dedication asking for God’s blessing for same-sex couples should be introduced soon in the Church of England on a trial basis, General Synod has agreed. Synod voted in favour of a motion containing an amendment tabled by the Bishop of Oxford to bring forward the standalone services based around texts known as Prayers of Love and Faith. The amended motion means that the services could be authorised for use sooner, but temporarily, under separate legislation. That would enable the first standalone Prayers of Love and Faith services to take place in churches at the same time as the process of seeking permanent authorisation is under way. Listen to Bishop Steven talking with BBC Radio 4 about the motion immediately following Synod, and a much longer interview with Premier Christian Radio that describes his own journey. 

  • 9 October 2023 – House of Bishops agrees to commend Prayers of Love and Faith,
    The prayers and readings in Prayers of Love and Faith for use with same-sex couples will be commended by the House of Bishops for use in public worship. Special standalone services set out in Prayers of Love and Faith will be brought to the General Synod to decide whether to authorise them under Canon B2, after consultation with dioceses. There is also further work under way to explore further forms of pastoral reassurance and formal structural pastoral provision to ensure the conscience of everyone is respected.

  • 9 February 2023 – Prayers for God’s blessing for same-sex couples take step forward after Synod debate,
    Commenting after the debate at General Synod, Bishop Steven said to the Guardian; “Same-sex couples will become much more visible and their relationships will be celebrated publicly and that, I think, will continue to change attitudes within the life of the church.” The amendment on marriage doctrine was “important to give some reassurance to those who are more conservative”, he said, but it would not stop the church “returning to this question [of same-sex marriage]” in the future.

  • 18 January 2023 – bishops in the Church of England proposed prayers of thanksgiving, dedication and for God’s blessing for same-sex couples. Listen to Bishop Steven speak to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme after this announcement.

  • September 2022 – the listening process reports are published to over 6,000 responses that were received. The bishops attend two meetings during the autumn to discuss the reports and discern what they believe God is saying. Bishop Steven's essay, Together in Love and Faith, was published between the two meetings. 
  • September 2021 to April 2022 – we encouraged parishes and deaneries to run the LLF course and engage with the LLF materials. The national Next Steps group gathered feedback from thousands of different groups across the country.

  • November 2020 –  the Church of England published a landmark set of resources to aid discernment and decision-making on questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. The resources draw together the bible, theology, science and history with powerful real-life stories designed to help every Christian explore questions in that area.

  • October 2018 – the four bishops of the Diocese of Oxford issued Clothe Yourselves with Love, a pastoral letter on the inclusion of and care for LGBTI+ people within the diocese. Just over a year later, the diocese launched a chaplaincy service for LGBTI+ people and their families.

Comment from our Bishops and radical inclusion for everyone

Bishop Steven wrote to the diocese following the February 2023 General Synod to share his vision for a diocese where all are affirmed, where same-sex relationships can be celebrated and where those who hold the traditional view are honoured. You can also watch Bishop Steven giving a reflection on the Fathers' Love through the parable of the The Prodigal Son; a story of radical inclusion for everyone. 

A listing of media comments from the bishops is available on the Together in Love and Faith page.

What is Living in Love and Faith (LLF)?

Christian teaching and learning about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage

Living in Love and Faith is the most extensive research into this area by any church, and was designed to enable a period of church-wide learning and engagement during 2021 and 2022. The materials are still available and we commend them to every church that wants to explore idendity, sexuality, relationshops and marriage. In January 2023, the College of Bishops proposed allowing blessings for same-sex unions. The proposals, which would enable same-sex couples to come to church after a civil marriage or civil partnership to give thanks, dedicate their relationship to God and receive God’s blessing were welcomed by General Synod. 

Download the draft documents

This page will be updated with the papers for the November 2023 meeting of General Synod as soon as the papers are available.

Together in Love and Faith: an essay from Bishop Steven

We've been exploring questions around human sexuality for more than a decade. Now is the time to take the next steps, but how? A new essay from the Bishop of Oxford, Together in Love and Faith, was published on 4 November 2022 and recieved widespread media interest. Over 52 pages, Bishop Steven considers the most pressing question: the Church of England’s response to same-sex relationships. Sharing his personal journey from evangelical ministry in Yorkshire to serving Bishop of Oxford, and recounting poignant conversations with the LGBTQ+ community and conservative Christian groups, Bishop Steven offers reflections and practical suggestions on this challenging topic. Find out how to order your copy here.

Responses from church-wide engagement

As part of the church-wide engagement with the Living in Love and Faith resources, everyone who took part was invited to share their learning, insights, and reflections. Over 6,000 responses were received, through questionnaires, focus groups, creative responses, and a variety of other forms. These responses have been gathered into a report, Listening with Love and Faith. This is accompanied by a more detailed technical report, and a reflective essay, Friendship and the Body of Christ. These and the LLF resources will support the bishops in their ongoing discernment process as they seek to discern what they believe God is saying to the Church of England today.

Do contact any of the LLF Advocates if you wish to talk through the LLF process.


The LLF course materials are still available to use

The deadline for offering feedback has passed, but the LLF materials remain available to use. We believe the material is useful for churches to use to together discuss faith, marriage, sexuality, and gender. Those who haven't yet run the course can do so at a time that suits them. All course material is available for free when you register on the LLF hub. There are also printed copies of the course booklet which you can purchase from Church House Publishing.

We won't be running any more LLF Course Facilitator training sessions, but you can download the handy short guide to Facilitating Living in Love and Faith Groups. The LLF Advocates are also available to talk to you about facilitating a group or any other questions you have about running the LLF Course. 

Introductory webinars

In June 2021 we hosted three introductory webinars to introduce LLF to the diocese. These events were attended by more than 400 people across the diocese and received excellent feedback from those who attended.

You can watch the presentations within these webinars by clicking the links below. The presenter was the Revd Dr Eeva John, the Church of England’s Enabling Officer for LLF.

Session 1: How can we learn well together

Session 2: Studying the Bible together

Session 3: Thinking about friendship

Session 4: The LLF journey



LLF Advocates

The LLF Advocates Team has come to a close in an official manner, but if please get in touch if you'd like support in facilitating LLF conversations in your context.




What is Living in Love and Faith (LLF)?
Living in Love and Faith (LLF) is a landmark set of resources produced by the Church of England to aid discernment and decision-making on questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. It’s designed to enable a period of church-wide learning using the LLF course, films, podcast and other resources in the online library. Find out more about LLF.
Why might I want to join in with LLF?
The LLF process is a unique opportunity to play your part in the life and direction of the Church of England. It's about being open together to hearing what God is saying to the Church of England today. Churches across the country have run the LLF course in small groups and contributed responses (as a group or individually) which were gathered and fed into the next stage of discernment.
How can I join in?
Whilst the opportunity to contribute your feedback has passed, you can still engage with the LLF materials. Start by asking your vicar or church leadership team whether they are or would consider running an LLF Course you can join. There are other resources available on the LLF Hub that you can go through yourself if you prefer, but the hope is that most people will engage with the resources with others.
What is the purpose/outcome of LLF?
Through the LLF process, churches across England have engaged in discussions and learnt together on questions of identity, sexuality, relationships, and marriage. Read the full learning outcomes for the process.
I still have some questions. Who can I talk to?
If you have more questions, you can contact your area LLF advocate or send your question to
How can I pray for the LLF process?
Here’s a suggested prayer for anyone who wants to pray for the LLF process:

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,
nto the fullness that is your image in us;
Through the Word made flesh,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.



A comprehensive suite of LLF resources

Other links and useful information


Living in Love and Faith: Moving Forward

Page last updated: Wednesday 8th May 2024 4:54 PM
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