Church Views on Sexuality: The Middle Ground (paper)

Church Views on Sexuality: The Middle Ground, Savitri Hensman

It is clear that Christians hold a spectrum of views on sexuality and marriage. However, the popular idea that there are two warring blocks that may be labelled ‘traditionalists’ and ‘revisionists’ is simplistic and can be misleading as well as unhelpful. Current tensions could be reduced and reframed significantly if more church leaders acknowledged the extent of common ground in the middle of this continuum, allowed limited flexibility of practice, and enabled their communities to develop practices of discernment oriented towards the “grace and truth” (John 1.13-15) that lies at the heart of the Christian message.

In this paper, Ekklesia associate Savitri Hensman identifies seven widely held positions on sexuality. She suggests that those with supposedly diametrically opposing views often have more in common than they may at first think. Equally, she argues, in Christian terms, that coexistence among those sharing a ‘middle ground’ is not about weak compromise, but instead reflects an approach both deeply rooted in Bible and tradition and open to change as a living community led by the Spirit.

Paper [PDF].

Taking a chance on God

2 November 2013, 10:30–17:00, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London

A day long workshop for LGBTQ Christians and their friends.

How are we called to be disciples and leaders? What does our experience as LGBTQ Christians, or as straight friends, teach us about trust, faith, and spiritual growth?

This day long workshop in the heart of London at historic St. Martin-in-the-Fields offers fellowship, input, and space for those who feel called to deeper reflection, and for those who feel inspired to spirit-led action.

Press Release [PDF].

Lords debate Marriage Bill

Prayer in support of the Bill.

Many Anglicans, gay and straight, catholic, middle of the road and evangelical, support equal marriage. Changing Attitude England has joined the members of the Coalition to offer prayerful support for the House of Lords as they prepare to debate the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on Monday 3 June. This is a decisive moment for the Bill. A wrecking amendment has been tabled which could threaten its future progress.
We ask you to pray in love. Prayer does not change the mind of God. Offered in love, prayer has the power to change the future and to change us. Prayer offered in openness and trust can channel the infinite, tender love of God which is shared with every person irrespective of their gender, sexuality, race, whether they are people of faith or not.

Prayer on Equal Marriage [Changing Attitude Website].

Journey towards acceptance (paper)

Journey towards acceptance: theologians and same-sex love, Savitri Hensman

In this paper, Savi Hensman gives a detailed overview of some of the most significant affirmative theological work on same-sex love and the Christian tradition. She demonstrates the unhelpful and simplistic positing of a straightforward ‘conservative versus liberal’ divide on these issues, and draws on Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed, Quaker and Anabaptist/Mennonite thinkers.

Full paper [PDF].

Faith, Gender and Me (article)

Faith, Gender and Me, Elaine Sommers

This article gives a perspective on the gender issues from a transvestite or cross dresser rather than a transsexual point of view. It is presented as an interview with a single person but it describes some general experiences. The interview in the form presented did not take place.

Transvestites and cross dressers have a gender allegiance which accords with their biological sex. There is no desire to seek gender reassignment but there is often an overwhelming need to express the senses of cross gender identity that they do possess…

Article [PDF].

The Transsexual is my Neighbour: Pastoral Guidelines…

The Transsexual is my Neighbour: Pastoral Guidelines for Christian Clergy, Pastors and Congregations, Christina Beardsley

Document [PDF].

This is also available in booklet form from The Gender Trust at PO Box 3192, Brighton, BN1 3WR. An alternative abbreviated version of the document is given in the information sheet section of the Gender Trust website at:

The full document contains an appendix on intersex conditions: Appendix [PDF].

Transsexual people cover the whole range of sexuality. However the priority is to be oneself. Many seek gender reassignment by surgery to make the body match the sense of gender that is felt inside.

Moving from the margins to the heart

3 July 2010, 18:00 at St Martin-in-the-Fields

A service of celebration for Christians Together at Pride, with the title of “Moving from the margins to the heart” took place at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, London at 6pm on the day of the London Pride Parade. The Preacher was Giles Goddard, chair of Inclusive Church, Priest-in-Charge of St John’s Waterloo and Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral.

Sermon [PDF].

Open letter to the Archbishops of Uppsala and Canterbury

Open letter to Anders Wejryd, Archbishop of Uppsala and Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

As Anglican clergy and lay people, we were dismayed to see that there was no official representation from the Church of England or any other Anglican church from the British Isles at the service of consecration of Eva Brunne as Bishop of Stockholm and of Tuulikki Koivunen Bylund as Bishop of Härnösand.

Open letter [PDF].