Living in Love and Faith discussions to continue ahead of next General Synod

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A group drawing from different traditions across the Church of England is to meet ahead of the General Synod in November to discuss next steps in the Living in Love and Faith process.

They will meet in September to discuss pastoral guidance being newly drafted after the February Synod backed plans to introduce same-sex blessings.

The 'Prayers of Love and Faith' have divided opinion in the Church and fuelled tensions in the wider Anglican Communion. 

The November General Synod will consider proposals around the implementation of the Prayers of Love and Faith. 

The discussion group has been created by the Co-Chairs of the Living in Love and Faith Steering Group, Bishop Sarah Mullally and Bishop Philip Mounstephen. 

Members of the group, who have not yet been made public, will receive an update on progress with the pastoral guidance, and have the opportunity to provide their insights and reflections.

The Church of England said that the discussions would feed into meetings of the College and House of Bishops to be held in the autumn.

"The House and the College of Bishops have a real desire to create a loving, generous, ecclesial and pastoral space, despite deeply held differences of opinion, in which we can share our ministry and implement the motion agreed by the Synod in February," said Bishop Mullally.

"There is a desire to joyfully offer a pastoral response to loving, faithful and long-term same sex relationships. There is at the same time no intention of changing the doctrine of marriage as expressed in the canons and the authorised liturgy of the Church of England.

"Holding these commitments together is at times painful and complex. As part of this we are seeking to listen to people's hopes and concerns and to ensure that they are satisfied that their views have been taken into consideration."