Descriptions of the atmosphere of this group by some of its members:
“A hospitable space”; “Worship, friendship, questioning”; “Accepting and tolerant”
“An inclusive group for people of all sexualities and backgrounds to examine religion, Christianity, faith.”
“A safe place to explore faith and sexuality”
“Where we support each other and try to be a beacon. We explore many areas e.g. Methodist history, bisexuality, church architecture, once a wine tasting, carols at Christmas our annual party.”
“A safe, welcoming and sustaining space where faith and sexuality are explored honestly and openly.”
“We are Christians who use our gayness to understand all outsiders.”
Words used to describe our group
Family…Stability…hospitality…remaining link with the church…”Outsiderist”…Worship…wholeness…healing…depth…Social Gospel…spirituality/sexuality…acceptance…affirmation…tolerance
- Proud allegiance to Ugandan LGBT+ Asylum Seekers:
We have been greatly enriched by the presence of several Ugandans who regularly support the group with their riches of culture, and the courage of their quests to have Leave to Remain”.
- A move towards unity:
We try to do things democratically: In January 2017 we agreed to offer our support to the merger of Changing Attitude and LGCM – We hope that the merged charity will draw on the strengths of both LGCM and Changing Attitude.
These were our observations:
– Joint endeavours are usually to be lauded. In this case, however, it is important that the specific goals of CA are not lost in the more general ones of LGCM. Anglicans tend to listen to Anglicans, and more especially to Anglican clergy. I would see it as important that provision for this particular set of skills/goals is protected within the proposed structure.
– Admin in LGCM already seems to be stretched to breaking point. It seems important that admin support, and action on campaigns is stepped up with a wider membership.
– We hope that affiliation to this new partnership will be open to all interested groups.
– We support wholeheartedly the Open Letter from LGCM (Tracy Byrne and Jeremy Pemberton) this morning 27th Jan. in response to the Statement from the Code House of Bishops following the Shared Conversations.
– I hope that the new LGCM/CA organisation will make clear at the earliest opportunity its aims and ambitions for change. A good example of the clear statement of aims and ambitions for change is to be found for instance under the headings Live, Love and Share in the core document about LGBT Mission.
– To galvanise and focus as much support as possible for change so that all who are willing may find ways, both through coordinated action and individually, to endeavour to make a difference on all issues where sexual orientation, sexuality and gender identity intersect with faith, worship and the church.
– I hope that our loving God and God’s great and unconditional love for us will be at the core of all we seek to achieve.
– Please may the new organisation be given a short and inclusive name which is both memorable and has impact.
We wish the new organisation every success. David Bailey on behalf of LGBT+ Christians Southampton and Around
- Response to Synod re the Report on Human Sexuality: gs-2055-marriage-and-same-sex-relationships-after-the-shared-conversations-report-from-the-house-of-bishops (1)
We wrote to large numbers of Synod representatives to influence if we could the outcome of the Recent Synod. In the end the report was not accepted by the required majority. Here is an example of what we sent:
Re upcoming discussion at General Synod of the Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations: A Report from the House of Bishops
You will no doubt get many letters, emails and other communications about this report. I am asking you to consider briefly please just a few points. I am asking you to consider them with a view to not supporting the ‘Take Note of the Report” motion in General Synod next week.
In my view the process of the “Shared Conversations” lacks charity, dignity and transparency. It is cynical in result, if not intent, to ask people to pour out their hearts and experience with no reference to their experience in the report itself (for instance there is no reference at all to intersex people who also rendered their experience at some cost). Conversations which function to stall, to confirm previous decisions, and which ignore new data is both bad science, and probably bad manners
There is no acknowledgement of the downsides of the position which the bishops take. I can quite see that if the report had made another kind of recommendation, there would be many hurt and wounded and mystified traditionalists, with the consequent risk of a split. I have experience of Ugandan friends whose horrific treatment as gay men or lesbians have been justified by selective Biblical interpretation which are at variance with compassion, tolerance, and Jesus’s seeking out of the outcast.
I am asking all concerned to ask about consistency in terms of women priests, women bishops, the marriage of divorced people, and further back justifications of slavery, greed and exploration. It does not behove General Synod to be on the wrong side of history especially where compassion, tolerance, and an awareness of the incompleteness of all our sexualities are concerned.
It is not behovely to delve into anyone’s sex lives, heterosexual or homosexual, clergy or laity; the obsession with sex instead of with greed, position, hierarchy, and preserving the status quo, means we have missed the wood for the trees, and confuses relatedness with scurrilousness.
The outcome is recorded in this letter from the Archbishops: Letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
Now it is time to write again! http://www.onebodyonefaith.org.uk/news/time-to-write/
Here is one example of what we have so far written:
Re: sequel to GS 2055
Hello, again! Forgive me for writing to you twice on a similar matter within two months. I recognise that you are busy, and that you will probably have spent a great deal of time pondering on the way forward following the deadlock of issues of sexuality at the recent General Synod. I will not attempt to make observations about all the issues you are likely to discuss in forthcoming meetings with the Bishop, but I hope that you will consider these two please:
- Both Conservatives and Liberals and those in between take the Scriptures seriously. Different conclusions are reached by different people. The Church needs surely to be an exemplar of the kind of solution that is needed still in the Island of Ireland, in Israel and Palestine, and in many war-torn African states. To the bemused “outsider” the Church presently looks a begetter of division rather than of reconciliation and tolerance, of self-discipline and inclusivity. This is not a case of winning or losing: it is a case for radical overhaul of all entrenched positions including those towards the many transgendered people shunned by Society and often made invisible by the Church.
- Perhaps more importantly and crucially, the message of Christ in action and in words was sacrificial love, and a costly kind of vulnerability. Bishops need to be allowed to state their own positions, whatever they are and however much they disagree. This is so that a false unity is avoided in favour of honest discussion which respects and seeks to understand. Families in dispute find that therapy does not work is some members of the family are silenced. The presently dysfunctional Anglican Communion must learn this lesson in humility in order to have an authentic and workable unity. The bishops need to be allowed to make the sacrifice of honest disagreement, then there can be an open flow, and healing and missional functionality can ensue. I personally regret the non-appointment of both Philip North and Jeffrey John to Diocesan Bishops in two Sees. We need to learn to live together.
Thank you for taking time to read this letter. I prayerfully wish you loving heart, openness and sturdy courage in the coming consultations.