New initiative for LGB&T people of faith

Publish Date: 26/10/2012

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation have developed a growing relationship with The Bishop of Manchester’s Advisory Group on Sexuality over the past few years which has enabled the development of several events aimed at to connect with Manchester’s LGB&T community.

Among the many issues that have been discussed in that time by The Bishop is making available a regular channel of communication to anyone within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community who seeks support and advice from a trusted member of the Manchester Diocese of The Church of England.

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation are now in a position to offer this service with the cooperation of The Bishop, his Advisory Group on Sexuality and a full time local parish priest who has built up trust within the community and is available to meet with anyone who seeks support in a safe and confidential space at The LGF’s Community Resource Centre in Manchester’s LGB&T village.

To celebrate this new initiative we spoke to Richard who will be available to talk in confidence to anyone who seeks support in this way. He told us:

"I spent many years struggling to come to terms with my own sexuality and what seemed a contradiction. I knew I was gay but I had a deep conviction that I was being called by God to serve as a priest.  My perception, like so many other people, was that the church was homophobic and so how could God possibly be calling me. Then a friend accused me of being arrogant and “knowing better than God”. He said to me “God is calling you for who you are – a gay man – he is not calling the man you think you should be”. That was transformational for me.  So I know something about the struggle around faith and acceptance.  I also spent 12 years before being ordained working as a volunteer with the Samaritans so I hope that I have the listening skills to hear both the verbal conversation and pick up on what is not being said."

Richard also told us why he thought LGF was a good place to offer this service, “The LGF is a discreet, safe place which is easily accessible, and it is known and well respected by the LGB&T community. So I feel it is right I should come to meet somebody on neutral territory.”

The service is available by personal appointment.

To find out more e-mail: info@lgf.org.uk or call 0845 3 30 30 30.

A weekly safe, sacred space for LGBT people,families,friends and supporters is held on the first Saturday of the month at St Chrysostom’s Church,Victoria Park,mANCHESTER For more information checkout:  http://www.stchrysostoms.org/LGBTcommunion.html