Introduction from the Bishop of Lichfield
The need for churches to respond well to LGBT+ people in our congregations and communities is an important and live issue. In 2018 the four bishops of Lichfield Diocese sent a letter to all of our clergy calling for a Church where LGBT+ people feel welcomed and honoured. This caused much discussion and debate, and roused some strong feelings across the Diocese. Our desire is to empower churches to have good conversations within and between themselves about these matters, whatever their background or tradition. We want these conversations to move beyond polarising views, to bring people together as they seek the will of God, and to provide a safe space for all to grow as disciples of Jesus. This section of the website has been created to begin to provide resources from various perspectives to help us explore these issues together as we follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad.
The Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith teaching and learning resources, exploring questions of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage, shaped a listening process which many churches across our diocese engaged in. This led to the General Synod vote to bless people in same-sex relationships in February 2023. Read more about Living in Love and Faith in our diocese.
And there are further resources here.
Following the Synod vote in February 2023, Bishop Michael announced the establishment of a chaplaincy support team to provide a confidential safe space for listening, encouragement, spiritual and pastoral care, and to signpost to other opportunities for support. This pilot scheme is being made available for anyone in the diocese, both within the LGBT+ community and outside of it, who hold different convictions on this issue. Chaplains available include those from an ‘affirming perspective’ and an ‘orthodox perspective’.