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Church of England outlines plans to tackle sexuality disagreements

The Church of England has released a booklet, podcasts and videos to help the church better understand gender, identity and sexuality. 

The resources do not change Anglican Church doctrine, which currently affirms marriage between a man and a woman and does not allow gay marriages. 

The information released on Monday is part of a project called 'Living in Love and Faith' (LLF) which aims to help the wider Church of England talk about sexuality, relationships and marriage throughout the next year, before they come together to vote on such matters at the General Synod in 2022. 

It was compiled by a range of Church of England clergy, commissioned by the Bishops, and aims to exhort those with more conservative views and those with a revisionist theology to listen to each other. 

It includes a five part course and a 480-page booklet, broken down into sections about the current trajectory of society, the position of the church, the theological questions involved in sexuality and an appeal to the church to discuss controversial matters with kindness and understanding. 

One of the 17 videos features a same sex married couple who met through a choir and speak about what they've found difficult about being gay in the Christian community, such as coming out to their parents and being dismissed from a home group role after getting married. 

Another video shows a young straight Christian couple talking about how they are glad they saved sex for marriage, while a third video features a trans woman who married when they were a man and had three children before transitioning. Debbie and Stephanie say the Bible helped them during the gender transition and that they are still friends, parenting their children. 

Christians with a traditional view of marriage have been encouraged to refrain from being overly critical and to commend the fact that it shows there is significant support for an orthodox view of marriage. 

Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Rev Paul Bayes, a supporter of gay marriage, wrote on Twitter: "My own hope & prayer is that it will open the door to shared understanding, and so to freely-given, mutual and joyous permission - to live and love, to relate and marry, to believe - together."


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