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“Living in Love and Faith: What’s the Conversation?”

Monday February 22nd 2021, Zoom: 19:30-21:00

Issues of gender, sexuality, marriage and relationships have proved both pressing and controversial for many Christian churches, including the Church of England. Launched in November 2020, Living in Love and Faith is a set of resources designed to enable congrega­tions to engage in a process of study, reflection and dialogue. In particular, LLF focuses on questions of how Christians might draw on the sources of Scripture, history, Church tradition, science, culture and our personal stories in order to understand how to live as people of faith in a society where understandings and practices of identity, relationships and sexuality continue to change.

Details of the report and accompanying resources can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/living-love-and-faith

As a contribution to this process, Chester Theological Society’s next meeting will aim to provide some background and context to Living in Love and Faith with a view to encouraging participants to engage in further dialogue and debate. 

  • How did this project come about and what is it seeking to do?
  • What are the issues and how can we better understand and explore them?
  • How can we work with the materials in the Report and associated resources in order to “equip ourselves to have the conversations”?

The emphasis within the Report is of the importance of conversation in discerning how to be disciples of Christ in relation to gender, sexuality and relationships:

  • Between the sources and resources of the Bible, church practice, theological teaching, culture and our own stories;
  • Among ourselves, even though Christians may hold different opinions and theological viewpoints;
  • Between the Church and wider society.

 

The mood of this meeting will be deliberately non-partisan. It will focus on exploring what the report has to say, how it handles the key sources of Biblical traditions, church teaching and practice, culture and personal experience.  It will seek to honour the intention of Living in Love and Faith to encourage deep, serious and broad-based theological reflection and Biblical study.

 

Chair: Rt Revd Mark Tanner, Bishop of Chester

 

Panel:

Dr Ben Fulford, Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology, University of Chester

Professor Elaine Graham, Research Professor of Practical Theology, University of Chester and Canon Theologian, Chester Cathedral

Professor Paul Middleton, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of Chester

 

The meeting will consist of three short presentations by the panellists on different aspects of Living in Love and Faith Report. Participants will then be invited to submit questions and comments for discussion.

 

How to register for the meeting

Those wishing to participate will need to apply to CTS for details of Zoom access. Please indicate your interest by February 19th at the latest by emailing either Rachel Barlow (CTS secretary: rp.amari@btinternet.com) or Elaine Graham (CTS President: profegraham@gmail.com). You will then be sent the Zoom link and password.

 

Chester’s Theological Claim to Fame: the Significance of W.H. Vanstone

Wednesday May 5th 2021 - 19:30 to 21:00

Revd Canon Dr Michael Brierley, Worcester Cathedral

This meeting will either take place in Hollybank, University of Chester or via Zoom.

Further details to be confirmed nearer the time.