Tag Archives: Church of England

A momentous decade – Reflecting on ten years of UK civil partnerships

IT’S TEN YEARS this month since the first civil partnerships for same-sex couples in the UK. The first couple to benefit from the new legal recognition for their relationship were Chris Cramp and Matthew Roche from West Sussex, on 5th December 2005. Yet when images from the first UK civil partnerships appear in the media to accompany stories about same-sex… Read more »

Making noise for #AntiBullyingWeek, #InterfaithWeek, #TDOR

THIS WEEK in England there is an interesting combination of commemorations – Anti-Bullying Week, Interfaith Week, and Trans* Awareness Week, culminating today in Trans* Day of Remembrance (TDOR). I have been at four events in the past week to mark these campaigns: ‘An All Embracing Faith’ – Keynote speech by Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall LGBT rights charity at Liverpool… Read more »

What is a ‘shared conversation’?

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WHAT IS a conversation if it’s not shared? Talking to myself? Enjoying the sound of my own voice? Only hearing views I agree with? This odd phrase was chosen by the Church of England to describe its facilitated listening process to seek some reconciliation, or at least ‘good disagreement’ over diverse views on sexuality and same-sex marriage. Perhaps they meant that,… Read more »

Some principles for making prayerful decisions

THIS WEEK, the church where my partner and I volunteer to run a monthly LGBT inclusive service, faced a huge decision – whether to commit to at least ten years of major fundraising and building work, or to walk away and start afresh somewhere else. A question this big was hard to answer – the community was divided, with strong… Read more »

A very queer* time – Bishop goes viral, Quest continues, Love in the dock, God loves hugs & Michael’s mates

*Queer – originally meaning odd, used as a term of homophobic abuse, reclaimed by activists as a defiant act of liberation, now interpreted to mean radical transgression of norms – see my comments on Keith Sharpe’s book The Gay Gospels below. IT’S BEEN an extraordinary couple of weeks since my last post about the Bishop of Liverpool’s visit to the monthly… Read more »

Bishop shares ‘absolute welcome’ with LGBT Christians

A CHRISTIAN community which warmly welcomes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people, their friends and family, celebrated its seventh anniversary on Sunday 19th July, with the Bishop of Liverpool as their guest. The inclusive service, known as ‘Open Table’, meets on the third Sunday of each month at St Bride’s Anglican Church on Percy Street in Toxteth, Liverpool. It… Read more »

Pride – the opposite of prejudice: From New York to old York

THIS SUNDAY is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, heralded as the birth of the modern international LGBT rights movement. Pride marches in cities across the world, including New York and London, are taking place this weekend to commemorate the struggle for equality that began in New York’s Stonewall Inn in the early hours of June 28th 1969. Forty-five years after the first… Read more »

A Coward with courage – challenging the Church, changing our image of God

LAST WEEKEND, director of Changing Attitude Colin Coward came to our church to give a series of reflections inspired by twenty years working towards a more inclusive church around the world. Colin is an Anglican priest who originally trained as an architect and subsequently as a psychotherapist.  He ministered for 19 years in inner-city parishes.  In 1995 he founded Changing… Read more »

A conversation that matters: #OpenChurch2015 conference

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters. This was the aim of last week’s two-day conference Open Church: The church, sexuality, mission and the future hosted by Steve Chalke, Baptist minister and founder of international charity the Oasis Trust. Steve hit the headlines two years ago when he called for an ‘open conversation’ around same-sex relationships and marriage in response to the… Read more »

Reflecting on our identity as LGBT people of faith and as an LGBT faith community

BY POPULAR REQUEST, members of the community that meets monthly at St Bride’s Church, Liverpool for the Open Table LGBT service spent a day away again this month, six months after our first away-day last October. Following the theme of identity and individuality we explored in last month’s service, we developed and deepened this at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre in… Read more »