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Statement from The Society and Forward in Faith on the Prayers of Love and Faith

Posted on the 15th Dec 2023 in the category Statements


Advent 2023

 

In this season of Advent, we join each of you in watching and waiting for the Christ who comes to meet us. We turn towards him in penitence, mindful of our sins and failings, but also in hope, and in joyful expectation of the fulfilment of His promises and the coming of His kingdom.

 

You will have seen that the House of Bishops has now commended the ‘Prayers of Love and Faith’ (PLF) and has issued Pastoral Guidance which provides the framework within which they may be used. We are glad to read in the Pastoral Guidance that:

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.

 

The Bishops of The Society, mindful of their calling to be guardians of the doctrine of Christ as the Church of England has received it, which doctrine is expressed in the common prayer of our liturgy, will not be using the PLF in public prayer. We recognise, however, that the nature of the commendation means that local decisions lie solely with clergy and their PCCs. Society Bishops will be offering further guidance on the PLF to the clergy in their care in due course.

 

We continue to rejoice that the parishes and worshipping communities in our care are places of welcome for all, where those from diverse backgrounds and households can come together as God’s people united around the one altar of sacrifice of the New Covenant.

 

In Advent we recall the place of Mary in the story of our salvation. Her example is of a life lived wholly for God, utterly transparent to His loving purposes. May her prayers support us as we seek, by God’s grace, to grow in holiness and do His will.

 

 

+ JONATHAN FULHAM

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham,

Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops

 

+ PAUL OSWESTRIENSIS

The Rt Revd Paul Thomas, Bishop of Oswestry,

Chairman of Forward in Faith