Wholly Holy (lecture)

Whloly Holy: What does the identity of being LGBT add to the identity of being Christian?

A lecture given by Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, on Wednesday 30 January 2013.

Some extracts:

…And is there a place for LGBT persons in this model? Absolutely. They’re in the front seat of the van. Why? I’ll give you three reasons. One, because a terrifying, murderous and persecuted history, which has left LGBT persons so marginalised, scapegoated, and diminished in the church it’s astonishing they’re still here, makes LGBT persons almost uniquely qualified to identify with those people closest to Jesus’ heart, Jesus’ company, and Jesus’ ministry. After hundreds of years of seeing LGBT persons as living in Babylon, in an exile of their own making, the church is finally beginning to realize that they’re not in Babylon – they’re in Egypt, in a captivity imposed upon them by others. Of course LGBT persons are sinners – everyone is; but at last the church is beginning to recognize that this is a people incalculably more sinned against than sinning, with an inexhaustible store of wisdom and grace to teach their brothers and sisters…

…LGBT people are made this way because God wanted ones like them to do a job no one else could do; and if the church is somewhat slow in affirming specific vocations and attending to long-hidden gifts it’s because it has hundreds of years of unlearning to do in breaking the habits of oppression and letting the Holy Spirit speak through an exiled people…

…What needs to happen now is repentance for the church’s ignorance and cruelty, a renewal of the church’s mission, and a reappraisal of the resources at the church’s disposal. And to lead the church as it discovers what it means to be a minority, to be misunderstood, mistrusted, and seen with contempt, who better to be its leaders and teachers than those who have been in that place all along. I wonder who those people might be…

Complete Lecture [PDF].

Write a letter to your MP

Invitation to write a letter to your Member of Parliament in support for equal marriage

Dear Friend

As you may have seen from the recent press release, (which is available on the Coalition website and is also copied on the guidelines, below) we have invited all of the constituent organisations of the Coalition to encourage their members to write to their MPs as soon as possible to ask them to support the government proposals on equal marriage, and also to alert them to the need for a critical review of the so-called quadruple locks which are designed to protect those religious organisations that choose not to opt in.

You are invited to write to your MP as well

We strongly support the proposed legislation and we look forward to its implementation, but we are concerned that this should accurately reflect the will of Parliament and of the people and that it does not unduly defer to a minority group.

Guidelines [PDF].

Tina Beardsley
Susan Gilchrist
Elaine Sommers
Co-Chairs LGB&T Anglican Coalition

Bishops in civil partnerships

For immediate use:
LGB&T Anglican Coalition press statement on the admission of bishops in civil partnerships to the episcopate

The Coalition welcomes the House of Bishops decision, confirmed on 4 January 2013, to lift its moratorium of July 2011 on clergy in civil partnerships being nominated as episcopal candidates, even when living in conformity with the House of Bishops guidelines Issues in Human Sexuality.

The Bishops have decided that the requirements in its 2005 statement concerning the eligibility for ordination of those in civil partnerships, whose relationships are consistent with the teaching of the Church of England, will apply equally in relation to the episcopate.

We had been shocked and saddened by the imposition of the moratorium, pending the outcome of the review of civil partnerships by the House of Bishops working party chaired by the Bishop of Sodor and Man. Although the lifting of the ban is only a small step it removes a glaring injustice, and was one of many recommendations in the Coalition’s submission to the Church of England working party on civil partnerships…

…We are glad that the House has addressed this particular issue, but are surprised and disappointed that this appears to be the only outcome, even though the review was expected to be complete by the end of 2012. We look forward to seeing the full report

Press Statement [PDF].