Tag Archives: England

Sorry seems to be the hardest word – On the C of E’s apology to LGBTI Christians

‘It’s a sad, sad situation, and it’s getting more and more absurd.’ So sang Elton John 40 years ago – his lament for a lost relationship could have been written for the Church of England this past month. At the first full meeting of its governing body this year, the General Synod met this week to respond, among other things, to… Read more »

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 »

Halloween – Summer’s end, a feast for remembering

AT THIS time of year it’s not unusual to hear people in England complain of the ‘American import’ of Halloween and its lanterns, costumes, and trick or treating. While it’s true that Halloween celebrations have become as commercialised as Christmas, in the USA and increasingly here in the UK, it’s also true that it was our ancestors of Celtic heritage… 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 »

LGBT hate crimes in UK ‘more likely to be violent’

HATE CRIME AWARENESS WEEK has just ended in the UK. The Home Office release the latest statistics on hate crime, which showed that: the number of hate crimes (motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity) reported in England & Wales was up 18% on the previous year (52,528 in 2014/15, 44,471 in 2013/14). 11% (5,597) were motivated… Read more »

Kim Davis – Let me show you what persecution looks like

ON US TV today (Sept. 22), the clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to ANY couple because she didn’t believe in same sex marriage has said what hurts her most about how she has been treated since she defied the Supreme Court ruling on marriage in June – being called ‘a hypocrite’. Kim Davis of Rowan County, Kentucky, has… 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 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 »