LGCM’s Brighton Group Convenor, Nigel Nash writes:
For the last six years, members of the Brighton LGCM have walked in the Pride Parade carrying the banner ‘Lesbian & Gay Christians and our friends praying for an inclusive church’.
While walking through thronged streets, being cheered, continually photographed, against the sound of music and whistling, we contemplate our arrival at Preston Park, and a warm welcome at St John’s Anglican Church. There we are greeted with drinks and refreshments.
This year over sixty people attended the inter denominational Service. We heard the reading of Christ being the cornerstone and we the parts making up the whole. As a liturgical act, we placed stones on the altar to make a cairn, making ourselves the stones which make up Christ’s temple, and we lit candles for all those people who continue to inspire us in our lives. Against this were the words of the sermon from the Rev David Clues, telling us that it is not that we are welcome, as if we were outsiders coming in, but that we have a right to be here, because we belong.
The Service at St Johns has become a key part of Brighton Pride. The Rev Alison Bowman very courageously began this six years ago as part of the Church’s Ministry, to be welcoming and inclusive, believing that God’s love embraces all and having regard to the Lambeth Conference Resolution (1998, 1.10) inviting the Church of England to ‘listen’ to the experiences of its LGBT members. From then the Service has gone from strength to strength and this year was even advertised in the Chichester Diocesan newsletter.
After socialising over tea, coffee and cakes, we left church with a sense of inspiration and the words of the Closing Responses in our ears. ’God is on the side of love; God is on the side of truth; God is on the side of hope’. Perhaps we can begin to believe this may be true.
For more information about LGCM’s Brighton Group visit their page.