The Listening Process

Explaining the Structure of the Study Guide

Listening occurs when:

  • There is common ground where we meet to hear one another
  • There is safe ground for people to speak
  • There is an understanding that all are vulnerable and afraid

Listening Processes require:

  • Convenors - to explain why we need to listen and to set the parameters of the conversation.
  • Facilitators - to safeguard confidentiality and integrity so that all are heard and no single vulnerability out weighs any other
  • Experts - to resource the process
  • Those with experience - to resource the process

The Convenor - The Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury calls us together to ask us to listen to one another, to experts and to the voices of those whose experience is relevant.


The facilitators will be people who can present the broad spectrum of views held within the communion. They need to be expert in their field (e.g. Biblical hermeneutics, medicine or, theology), but not committed to a single agenda.

Their task will be, from their area of expertise to provide a guide to the dialogue within framework set out by the convenor.

They will be asked to use all the resources offered to them and to order them so that they are comprehensible to all.


The materials collated by the Facilitator for the Listening Process. Studies and reports and articles from the Provinces of the Communion.
Published materials, books and articles.
Contributions from academics, commentators or practitioners in a specific, relevant field.
Contributions from those whose experience is relevant.
Contributions can be: academic articles, testimonies, statistics, Bible studies, poems, sermons as well as video and audio materials.
To ensure a full and appropriate coverage from within the Anglican Communion we request contributions from:

  • the full geographic diversity of the communion
  • the theological diversity of the communion
  • women and men
  • a breadth of different experiences.
  • gay and lesbian people
  • academics
  • bishops, clergy, and lay people
  • primates
  • ecumenical partners

What will the Study Guide look like?

The Study Guide will be a book with eight sections. Each section will be written by the facilitator or facilitators drawing on the contributions gathered as above. Each facilitator will aim to guide the reader through the conversations and hear the range of differing opinions. The reader will be able to study and pray in order to seek to hear God speaking to them. Significant contributions will be highlighted and selected quotes or summaries placed within the text.

In addition it is intended to publish, in the form of a CD ROM, a companion to the guide. On the CD we intend to publish a range of the contributions from individuals, provinces, dioceses and groups submitted to the process. The CD ROM will follow the structure of the guide and will allow the user to navigate to the texts behind the guide.

We hope everyone will recognise their own perspectives represented within guide and the CD.


The Study guide will be a resource for those wishing to listen to the experience of homosexual people and for those wishing to engage in mutual listening.

It is convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury and supported by the Facilitator for the Listening Process on Human Sexuality. Facilitated by a range of experts who are prepared to allow the voices of all to be fairly heard, the guide will be resourced by existing materials and new submissions from Provinces, individuals and groups.

Along with the Guide, we will publish a spectrum of the contributions in CD ROM form. Submissions will be limited to 3,000 words. Shorter submissions are likely to be read more widely. Submissions can be academic texts, poems, liturgical material, video, testimony, Bible study or any other format. They may be submitted in any major language used within the Anglican Communion.

All submissions will be passed on to the relevant section facilitator, anonymously if requested. If they recommend a submission as significant it will be included on the CD.