CofE issues LGBTI+ 'prompts' for churches

The Church of England has launched a set of guidelines at its General Synod to help church communities navigate different approaches to questions of human sexuality.

The Church's Pastoral Advisory Group (PAG), set up by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2017, was set up to advise churches on pastoral guidance in relation to LGBTI+ people in the light of the Church's current teaching. Its Pastoral Principles for Living Well Together are a set of six prompts aimed at helping congregations discuss issues together.

Church of EnglandThe Church of England's General Synod has agreed a set of 'pastoral principles' for engaging congregations in LGBTI issues.

The PAG suggests they could be discussed at parish weekends away, at parochial church council meetings or in small group studies.

It says: 'As communities of Christians we are held together in the love of Christ. Our many differences are gifts that can build us up in trust and mutual affection ... or they can mar the image of Christ that we are called to reflect through our life together. LGBTI+ people in our churches have not always experienced this unconditional love of Christ and we need to admit and address this reality.'

It identifies six 'pervading evils' and invites churches to consider how they might 'acknowledge prejudice', 'speak into silence', 'address ignorance', 'cast out fear', 'admit hypocrisy' and 'pay attention to power'.

Commenting on the launch, the Bishop of Newcastle, Christine Hardman, said: 'As communities of Christians we are held together in the love of Christ. Our many differences are gifts that can build us up in trust and mutual affection. LGBTI+ people in our churches have not always experienced this unconditional love of Christ and we need to admit and address this reality.'

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