It’s nearly two months since I last wrote – how the year flies by! – and it’s good to know that we have a little more freedom in terms of coronavirus restrictions, albeit we still wait for the final unlocking. Having said all that, as you may be aware, Coronavirus rates are increasing again, particularly here in the North West and so the Government is advising those of us who live in Warrington to meet others outdoors if possible and to minimise travel in and out of the area, as well as to continue to be tested twice weekly with lateral flow tests (COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) This yo-yo effect is difficult to deal with and I think many of us are struggling with restriction fatigue at present. The delay to the planned for unlocking on 21 June has also affected our plans as churches with the Ark experience at St.Paul’s and the Summer Fair at St.Mary’s both being postponed now until September. Whilst this is frustrating, I think we need to continue to be patient and vigilant, and to play our parts in helping to reduce the spread of the virus wherever possible.
Looking ahead to the autumn, we will be turning our attention to the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process. This is designed to enable churches to engage in deep listening, dialogue, and study about human identity, relationship, sexuality and marriage so that we might gain a deeper understanding of what it means to embody a Christian vision of living holy lives in love and faith. This in turn will be part of a process of discerning a way forward for the Church of England in relation to matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
Bishop Bev, lead for Liverpool Diocese, said “Never before has the Church of England produced such a comprehensive and multi-disciplined teaching and learning resource. It is hoped that every church will participate in the 5 session course with its suite of films, podcasts and journals, so that we may learn together, grow in our understanding and listen deeply, not only to one another and our own inner voice, but most importantly, to what God is saying to the Church”
Our West Warrington Team of core leaders (clergy, local missional leaders and ordinand) have been trialling the course the past five months and would now like to offer it to members of all our churches to participate in. We will begin the course week beginning 12 September 2021 and will be offering the course on 3 separate occasions each week, lead by two members of our core team from different churches. These will be Tuesday and Thursday evenings (all being well, in-person at 7.30 p.m.) and Wednesday afternoons at 3 p.m. on Zoom. Full details at the end of this letter.
If you would like to take part in the course (and I encourage you to do so!) please contact your clergy or local missional leaders, and let them know what day of the week you could attend asap so that we can order course booklets for those wishing to attend. For further information, please speak to them or look at the course introduction Living in Love and Faith | The Church of England.
With my prayers and best wishes
Pioneer Team Rector
LLF Course Dates
Tuesday Evenings, 7.30 – 9.00 p.m., In-person (Venue TBC)
14 September, 21 September, 28 September, 5 October, 12 October
(NB The session on 5 October may not go ahead in which case there will be an additional session on 19 October)
Wednesday Afternoons, 3.00 – 4.30 p.m., Zoom
15 September, 22 September, 29 September, 6 October, 13 October
(NB The session on 6 October may not go ahead in which case there will be an additional session on 20 October)
Thursday Evenings, 7.30 – 9.00 p.m., In-Person (Venue TBC)
16 September, 23 September, 30 September, 21 October, 28 October
(NB No sessions on 7 October and 14 October)