Prayers of Living in Love and Faith

Prayers of Living in Love and Faith

Following a recent PCC Meeting in January 2024 it was agreed unanimously that we as an all Inclusive Church would offer this special ministry to couples.

Living in Love and Faith Pastoral Guidance

Below are the pastoral notes, issued by the C of E, regarding the new prayers of love and faith for same sex couples.

They have been passed by General Synod for use in parishes.

To be used at the discretion of the Incumbent.

The prayers are NOT a marriage, and are not to be called WEDDINGS. But a way of blessing and recognising love in all its forms, for couples who have committed to spend their lives together in a loving, stable relationship.

As part of the Inclusive Church network, we are committed to being open and honest with our welcome to all. It is Rev Juliet’s intention therefore, to offer these prayers of love and faith, at Holy Trinity church, as part of the worship pattern of services in church.

We will be added to the Bishop’s list as a parish willing and happy to offer this special ministry.

If you would like further details or advice please contact Rev Juliet at

Guidance on the use of the Prayers of Love and Faith

1. The Prayers of Love and Faith (PLF hereafter) are a resource for God’s pilgrim people as they journey on the way of Christ toward the fulness of his kingdom. They are another means by which to give thanks for God’s gifts in creation and redemption, to turn from sin, and to seek God’s aid in becoming holy, in proclaiming the gospel, in loving our neighbours and pursuing justice.

The Church of England teaches that Holy Matrimony is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman, blessed by God in creation and pointing to the love between Christ and the Church; a way of life which Christ makes holy. It is within marriage that sexual intimacy finds its proper place.

However, marriage is not open to all, and even for those who enter it, there is often a road of growth and development. Many wish to celebrate God’s gifts and grace in other forms of committed, faithful relationships that are not marriage but nevertheless contains qualities and goods that are worth affirming and celebrating. Many would also like to pray for God’s guidance and blessing as they seek to grow in love and faith.

2. The PLF make provision for stable, faithful relationships between same-sex couples and for giving thanks for their faithfulness and their fruitfulness in service to God and neighbour. In that sense, they recognise the couple’s commitments to one another. They ask for God’s grace in the holy ordering of companionship and godly love as they follow Christ and seek to grow in holiness. They ask for God’s blessing for them and their families as they offer self-giving love to one another, and in their witness and service to their neighbours.

The PLF are specifically written for same-sex couples, because no provision is currently made for them through public forms of prayer. The PLF are not a Guidance on the use of the Prayers of Love and Faith 1 form of marriage service, nor do they equate the relationships brought before God to Holy Matrimony. Nevertheless, they recognise all that is good, and holy, and faithful in these relationships and enable the people in these relationships to place themselves before God and ask for God’s blessing for their journey of love and faith.

Making the decision to offer the prayers

When prayer is offered informally in private pastoral situations, outside of acts of public worship, this is left to the discretion of the minister, as part of sensitive, discerning pastoral ministry. The PLF contain materials which can be used in prayers in regularly scheduled Sunday or weekday services. Again, this is a routine part of pastoral ministry, which is best handled by an incumbent who knows their congregation and has established a pastoral relationship with a couple asking for prayer as part of their journey of faith. The commended PLF Resource Section is designed for use in these regular services, but should not be used to offer standalone or special services (hereafter, ‘standalone services’). These are services that do not fall within the normal, usual pattern of worship for a parish, and are designed primarily around the PLF. While this more informal use of the PLF as part of regular worship is left to the discretion of the minister, it would be wise for them to discuss use in public services with their PCC and work within the tradition and sensitivities of their local context. A conversation with the PCC would need to be conducted according to the Pastoral Principles. Agreeing a simple policy on how the commended prayers would or would not be used could also be helpful, and help churches be transparent in this area. Given that the PLF would then be used as part of regular worship, involving congregations in discussion and feedback would be helpful.

The PLF also aims to provide a form of service for which authorization is being sought in the General Synod. Only in this case could the PLF be used as a standalone service of public worship. The PLF here would offer a discrete structure for a particular and distinctive liturgical act – a rite for marking a significant stage in a committed and faithful same-sex relationship. The following paragraphs set out how, if such a form of service became authorized, the PLF may be adopted in local contexts.

This rite was designed specifically with same-sex couples in mind, for whom no other provision is made currently. Such a service is an opportunity to celebrate the goods of their relationship, and to ask for God’s guidance and care as they grow in faith and love. The service is designed specifically for couples whose relationship is faithful, exclusive, permanent and stable. The PLF provide a way for a couple's relationship to be rejoiced in by the people of God and remembered in prayer. The services are not a form of Holy Matrimony, and must not be made to look like Holy Matrimony.

The Notes to the standalone services will provide more detail if and when these are authorised.

3. Such services are still a subject of disagreement in the Church of England, and some churches.

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