Author Archives: abravefaith

Writing the icon of 9/11 – Remembering Fr Mychal Judge #AllSaints

On September 11, 2017, sixteen years after the devastating terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Center, an article appeared online about its first recorded victim, which asked: ‘Could Father Mychal Judge Be the First Gay Saint?’ Father Mychal Judge was a little-known Franciscan friar ministering humbly to the disenfranchised and unloved on the streets of New York City… until September… Read more »

Stepping out onto the border – Bishop Paul returns to Open Table

AT the monthly communion service in August hosted by Open Table, (OT), an ecumenical Christian worship community which offers a warm welcome to people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA), the Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Revd Paul Bayes, gave a reflection on ‘a story of increasing love and boundaries crossed’. 62 people came to the service on… Read more »

Coming out in the classroom – The power of education #NCOD

TODAY, 11th October, is celebrated in many countries as ‘National Coming Out Day’, a campaign to promote a safe world for LGBT+ individuals to live truthfully and openly. This morning I marked the occasion by giving a lecture to around 300 trainee teachers, to raise awareness of issues around gender and sexuality, and to explore these in age-appropriate ways in… Read more »

‘I choose not to collaborate in my own oppression’ – Sister Jeannine Gramick on 40+ years of ministry among LGBT Catholics

THESE were the courageous words of the keynote speaker at this year’s annual conference of Quest, which offers pastoral support for LGBT Catholics in the UK. Sister Jeannine Gramick has cared and campaigned for the LGBT community in the USA since 1971, two years before Quest was founded. I first heard about Sister Jeannine in 1999 when, together with her colleague… Read more »

How little did I know – Blogging five years on

FIVE YEARS AGO today I began this blog – little did I know then that: having ‘come out of the church‘ in 2011, I would return to a different church where my husband and I would be accepted, encouraged and authorised as lay leaders (though still with limitations because we are married) little more than a year after our civil… Read more »

‘We should extend the table’ – Bishop of Liverpool to LGBTI+ Christians

THIS WEEKEND the Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Revd Paul Bayes, will join the celebration of Open Table, an ecumenical Christian worship community which offers a warm welcome to people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) and all who seek a more inclusive Church. It’s not his first visit to Open Table. We originally invited him to join us… Read more »

Take me to the place where your heart hurts most

      1 Comment on Take me to the place where your heart hurts most

I’M TAKING a risk in sharing this – it’s perhaps the most personal thing I have ever written here. Last weekend, I spent the evening with two dear friends who have lived with chronic illness for many years, and still find such joy in life having come so close to death. One of them was celebrating the anniversary of a… Read more »

A moving blog

      No Comments on A moving blog

IT’S BEEN almost five years since I started this blog – but in the last five months I have been unusually quiet. It has been an exceptionally busy time with the unprecedented growth of my voluntary work with the Open Table ecumenical Christian community, alongside other commitments. Not only that, but the company which was hosting the website became increasingly unreliable… Read more »

A year in the life of Open Table

      No Comments on A year in the life of Open Table

In April each year, many Anglican churches have an annual meeting to review the past year and look forward to the year ahead. St Bride’s Liverpool is host to the Open Table ecumenical worship community for Christians who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) and all who believe in an inclusive church. This post is adapted from the Open Table report at the St Bride’s annual meeting last month.

An outpouring of the spirit – Searching for a more inclusive church

LAST MONTH I gave a reflection at St John’s United Reformed Church in Warrington, the home of the first gathering of Open Table outside Liverpool, which began in July 2015, seven years after the Liverpool community first met. My reflection, adapted here, was inspired by a blog post I wrote in September 2013 on the tenth anniversary of Inclusive Church,… Read more »