This is a bad news – good news story.
First, the bad news. Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog called Erased Again in which I complained about the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith website.
Specifically, I complained about the Wider Participation page. A significant number of individuals and churches had been nominated to talk to the LLF project and they had published the criteria used to select the ones who would be met face-to-face. However there were significant gaps in the criteria.
Now the good news. Their web page has been updated with new criteria and these are so much better. Those of us who did not fit into any category, now have criteria that allow our voices to be heard. Well done.
The new criteria can be found at wider participation
The updated webpage explicitly states that [the person asked to make the final selection] was asked to ensure the selection included as much diversity as possible in relation to sexuality, gender identity and relationship status.
There is more good news. This change happened because there is a mechanism for people to contact those working on Living in Love and Faith. Many people contacted them and said how the categories excluded them and those voices who would be missing from the process. Dr Eeva John and her staff at LLF have listened to what we were saying and they have made changes that reflect that listening. Dr John – thank you very much. By the standards of the Church of England, this is a lightning fast response.
I have been impressed with the way that Dr John and her staff have been willing to engage with people on an individual basis. It must have taken up a lot of time to answer so many e-mails personally. This commitment by the LLF team gives me a lot more confidence in the process than I had before. They are willing to listen to us and engage with what we have to say, that is something that we have never had before. It is now up to us to engage in constructive dialogue to ensure that there is the best possible outcome for Living in Love and Faith in 2020.
To get in touch with the LLF team, go to their main webpage at Living in Love and Faith and go to the bottom of the page for the Get in Touch section.