Following developments in General Synod earlier in 2023, the Church of England’s national House of Bishops met on the 12th December and resolved to commend a selection of readings and prayers of thanksgiving, dedication and asking for God’s blessing for same-sex couples, as well as for those in covenanted friendships.

The formal commendation takes effect from Sunday, 17th December 2023.

These Prayers of Love and Faith may be used in regular public worship (that is, services that would be taking place anyway) or private prayer, at the discretion of the priest holding the cure of souls in that place (in the case of a parish in vacancy this will be the Area Dean).

The texts have been published, together with pastoral guidance which sets out how they may be used. The material and further information can be found at Prayers of Love and Faith to be made available for use from Sunday | The Church of England.

Please note that the House of Bishops is continuing to discuss separate proposals for special stand-alone services for same-sex couples; in other words, the House has not authorised or commended services where prayer for such a couple is the principal focus of the event.