Living in Love and Faith

Living in Love + Faith logo. Illustration of a stained glass windowComment from our Bishops, General Synod - February 2023

The Rt Revd Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, who supports marriage equality, said the vote was a “significant and historic step”. He said:

“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.

- Guardian

The Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, speaks to LBC Radio on the final day of debates at General Synod ahead of the vote.

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 it's designed to enable a period of church-wide learning and engagement during 2021 and 2022.

In January 2023, the College of Bishops proposed allowing blessings for same-sex unions. The draft texts below come as a result of this proposal to be discussed at the February 2023 General Synod.


“As I’ve listened to the stories and experiences of LGBTQ+ people, all of my pastoral instincts pointed to finding a way of interpreting the Bible to allow for greater love and support, tolerance and the blessing of their partnerships. It is very good for us to be able to say today that the church can now offer public services of blessing, but we know that we have further to go.

“I also look forward to the publication of new pastoral guidance in the coming months and confidently expect this will enable our clergy to order their relationships according to their own conscience and allow them the freedom to enter into same-sex civil marriage.”

Bishop Steven Croft

The Bishop of Oxford spoke to Sky News on Friday 20 January about the latest announcements and draft prayers. Watch in full on our YouTube.

Together in Love and Faith: a new 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 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

Watch "Wisdom from Above" with Bishop Steven

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

You can also watch Bishop Steven speaking at Sacred in Christ Church Cathedral on his essay, on the affirmation and support of equal marriage in church, what's happening at February Synod, and a reflection on the Fathers' Love through the parable of the The Prodigal Son; a story of radical inclusion for everyone. 

Living in Love and Faith: 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.

Our journey so far

In 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.

In 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.

We encouraged parishes and deaneries to run the LLF course and engage with the LLF materials between September 2021 and April 2022. This timetable was to allow time for a proper focus on regathering after the lockdowns and, we hope, to enable the conversations to be onsite as well as online. The national Next Steps group have gathered feedback from thousands of different groups across the country.

The listening process reports were published at the beginning of September 2022 and the bishops have attended two meetings during the autumn to discuss the reports and discern what they believe God is saying to us today. Bishop Steven's essay, Together in Love and Faith, was published between the two meetings. The bishops will present at General Synod meeting in February 2023, where it is expected a clear sense of direction is reached.

LLF Course

The deadline for offering feedback has passed, but the LLF materials will continue to be 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.

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 GroupsThe LLF Advocates are also available to talk to you about facilitating a group or any other questions you have about running the LLF Course. 

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.

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

Please feel free to contact any of the LLF advocates below to find out more about how the LLF process might work in your context.

Berkshire Area

The Revd Mark Bennet

Buckingham Area

The Revd Gill Barrow-Jones

Doral Hayes

Dorchester Area

Sue Scott

Tim Budd

Oxford Area

The Revd Anthony Buckley


The Revd Marcus Green

Diocesan Facilitator

Hannah Ling


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 have been gathered and fed into the next stage of discernment and the General Synod debate later in 2022.
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

Page last updated: Wednesday 13th September 2023 9:55 AM
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