LLF Next Steps – historic meetings

Friday 30 September 2022 – tomorrow – four bishops from the ‘Next Steps’ group, plus Eeva John, will be meeting with representatives of eight progressive Church of England groups at Lambeth Palace, including Equal.

Why historic? Amazingly, this is the first time C of E bishops have officially met with organizations working for the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in the Church.

The schedule is as follows:

TimeNext Steps participantsProgressive groups

  • Bev Mason
    Bishop of Warrington

  • Jonathan Baker
    Bishop of Fulham

  • Eeva John
    LLF Enabling Officer

  • Diverse Church


  • Inclusive Church

  • MoSAIC

  • OBOF


  • Helen-Ann Hartley
    Bishop of Ripon

  • Sarah Mullally
    Bishop of London

  • Eeva John
    LLF Enabling Officer

  • Changing Attitude England

  • Equal Campaign

  • Ozanne Foundation

The stated aim of the meetings is to give the participating groups the opportunity “to express their hopes, insights and concerns in relation to the questions raised by the LLF resources regarding identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage, and so to feel heard within the discernment process.”

That sounds like a largely one-way process, with the bishops (and Eeva John) listening to what we have to say. Let us hope that it can also be a meaningful dialogue in which we engage honestly with one another and challenge each other.

Judging by their aim, there is a danger that the meetings may be too focused on LLF and its content. There has already been a long process of consultation, so we need to move on from that and concentrate on the urgent need for the Church to turn away from its unjust discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people and to embrace genuine radical Christian inclusion.

Please pray for everyone involved in these meetings, and that what is said will be respectful, truthful and loving.