Although with everything else going on, the issue of engaging with the LLF can seem just too much of an extra burden, can we encourage you not to set it to one side? Few of us will have the time or energy to read or participate in everything on offer, but involving ourselves to the extent we can will be very helpful.
The LLF process is designed to be a consultation with the church, and the courses and resources are intended to be aids to that consultation, rather than the consultation itself. This consultation will then be used to inform discussion in the House of Bishops, which will result in proposals being brought to General Synod in 2022.
It is important that those who would wish to maintain the church’s current teaching on sexuality be heard. Silence is often equated with consent, and it might not be entirely cynical that the path of least resistance will be the one presented to synod. Engagement is therefore vital, but that needn’t be via the course.
How to Engage
There are four mechanisms for feedback:
- via your Diocesan Advocate
- via your Diocesan Bishop
- via an online survey (https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LLFcourse)
- once elections to General Synod have taken place, then you might also make representations to the newly elected members.
You don’t have to choose one method of feedback: we would encourage you to engage with all four.
Who may Respond?
The more the better!
Please don’t underestimate the lay voice in all of this. Experience suggests that views of the laity are harder to ignore than clergy, and engagement with the laity is the purpose of the LLF.
Is it better that people engage as individuals, but that doesn’t mean that a PCC cannot also pass a resolution in response to LFF. The key is that resolution is then communicated via the feedback mechanisms.
There has been considerable dissatisfaction with the timing of this (“don’t they know there’s a pandemic on”?), and it may be that timescales are lengthened. There is no immediate rush to respond, and the summer months may be the best time to consider engaging. There might also be wisdom in staggered responses, so that bishops are continually reminded that not all are in favour of change.