As the Church of England publishes historic prayers and proposals relating to identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage (as part of a process known as Living in Love and Faith) for General Synod to discuss in February, our Bishops for Leicestershire continue listening to our worshipping communities.
You can see the draft prayers and the proposals to be discussed by General Synod (6-8 February) here. They were put together by the College of Bishops (all of the Bishops of the Church of England) in response to the Living and Love and Faith (LLF) process
Bishop Martyn said: “The bishops as a body hold a wide variety of views on same-sex marriage, though we are united in our sorrow over the treatment of LGBT+ people in our churches. We are committed to welcoming all as we journey together in disagreement."
He also said: "In the diocese we are asking if it is possible for churches of very different traditions, different outlooks on the Christian faith, to be able to work together? I don’t for a moment under-estimate the significance of what we’re talking about with these matters.
“There are many who want us to move quickly to blessing or even conducting same sex marriage services whilst at the same time there are those who are very clear that if the CofE were to do that they would struggle to remain a part of the CofE.
“This is why Bishop Saju and I take our role as bishops, in holding the unity of the diocese, very seriously. We are now having a series of meetings with different groups of people in our worshipping communities to explore the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process more deeply.
“I deeply, deeply value a church that is diverse, a church where people can hold very different views and nevertheless can live well together, can worship together, can work together in God’s kingdom.
“This is the goal as far as I am concerned, whilst acknowledging there are always limits to diversity. We’re not saying anything goes. We must have grown-up debates about these difficult issues.
“In all sorts of ways, we seek to live well together across difference. I am hopeful that God is going to work among us such that we can do that in the coming months and years.”
Watch Bishop Martyn's recent Reconciling Communities vlog, which discusses these matters and others, by clicking here.