LLF update from the Catholic Group on General Synod

Posted on the 9th Jul 2024

On Monday 8th July 2024, the General Synod voted, by a narrow margin in the Houses of Clergy and of Laity, and with a reduced majority in the House of Bishops, to approve the motion on Living in Love and Faith (LLF). 


The motion was passed as follows:

Bishops: 22 for, 12 against, 5 abstained

Clergy: 99 for, 88 against, 2 abstained

Laity: 95 for, 91 against, 2 abstained.


During the debate, both Archbishops and the Bishop of Leicester (lead bishop for LLF) confirmed that conservatives remain a valued part of the Church of England and made undertakings to explore provision for conservatives on this issue, for which we are grateful. Consequently, members of the Catholic Group will continue to engage with the LLF process nationally and we encourage continued engagement in dioceses.


Following this vote in General Synod, there will now be a further process of negotiation detailing the provision needed for conservatives, and we will continue to work alongside friends in the Alliance.  Moving forward, it is envisaged that standalone services will be introduced after the February 2025 meeting of General Synod, by which time provision should be provided and which is envisaged will be based on a model of delegated episcopal oversight.


The motion as approved by Synod was as follows:


'That this Synod:

support the overall proposal and timetable set out in GS 2358;

request that the House of Bishops, with the advice of the LLF working groups:

i. revise the Pastoral Guidance to remove restrictions on the use of PLF in ‘standalone’ services alongside the introduction of an arrangement to register for Pastoral Reassurance;

ii. establish the basis for the provision of Pastoral Reassurance through a House of Bishops’ Statement and Code of Practice which provides for the delegation of some specific and defined episcopal ministry, and which is overseen by an Independent Review Panel;

iii. report to this Synod at its February 2025 group of sessions on the further theological work carried out under the auspices of the Faith and Order Commission around the nature of doctrine, particularly as it relates to the doctrine of marriage and the question of clergy in same-sex civil marriages. This work to be appropriately budgeted and resourced by the Archbishops’ Council in terms of theological advice, travel and meeting costs in order to increase the likelihood of meeting the timescales as set out in GS 2358

Agree that taken together the Pastoral Guidance, the Bishop’s Statement and Code of Practice for pastoral provision will replace Issues in Human Sexuality.

Agree for the arrangements for Pastoral Reassurance to be regularly monitored over a period of at least three 2 years before being formally reviewed by General Synod.’


Further information can be found here.


Fr Adam Gaunt

Chair of the Catholic Group