A brave faith

One gay Christian seeking authenticity

A year in the life of Open Table

Open-Table-Logo_colour_webIn April each year, many Anglican churches have an annual meeting to review the past year and look forward to the year ahead. St Bride’s Liverpool is host to the Open Table ecumenical worship community for Christians who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) and all who believe in an inclusive church. This post is adapted from the Open Table report at the St Bride’s annual meeting last month.

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An outpouring of the spirit – Searching for a more inclusive church

LAST MONTH I gave a reflection at St John’s United Reformed Church in Warrington, the home of the first gathering of Open Table outside Liverpool, which began in July 2015, seven years after the Liverpool community first met.

My reflection, adapted here, was inspired by a blog post I wrote in September 2013 on the tenth anniversary of Inclusive Church, an educational charity founded in 2003 which works with churches of different denominations encouraging them to explore ways in which they may become more inclusive. (more…)


What a difference a day makes

Last Tuesday, on the eve of the General Synod debate on marriage and same sex relationships, I was heading for the launch of OneBodyOneFaith (a merger of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and Changing Attitude) when I saw this slogan on a poster on the Underground:

Take me as I am, or watch me as I go

It brought to mind the outpouring of hurt and anger from LGBTI members of the Church of England, who feel they were invited to be vulnerable in the Shared Conversations but were not truly heard and understood, or who took on trust the House of Bishops’ request to be patient during this process but now feel this trust was misplaced. (more…)


Be welcome at this table – a liturgy for LGBT History Month

LGBT History Month 2017 logoFebruary is LGBT History Month in the UK – an annual festival to celebrate the lives and achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people past and present.

The Open Table community at St Bride’s Church in Liverpool, which my husband and I host, is honouring the occasion in its gatherings this month.

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Being the change I wanted to see as an LGBT+ role model

Me aged 18, as I appeared in my dream

Yesterday afternoon I visited a secondary school to discuss what more they could do to support their LGBT+ students.

Last night I dreamed I travelled back in time and saw myself as a teenager. My younger self recognised me, approached and gave me a hug.

I may have been watching too much science fiction lately, but I suspect these two events are connected. (more…)


The rise of Trump – Where are we now? #HMD2017

TODAY is Holocaust Memorial Day – the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz which marked the end of the extreme prejudice and discrimination which led to the extermination of millions of Jews and other minorities.

Or did it?

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust also commemorates other genocides in more recent times – Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, and more. Surely we have learned the lessons of the past? How could we stand by and let this happen again?

Are we standing by and letting it happen again?

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#YouAreHere – A pop-up museum of Liverpool LGBT+ History

youarehere01This week I was proud to be part of the You Are Here LGBT+ history pop-up exhibition at Tate Liverpool.

youarehere02I loaned the Liverpool Echo report on our civil partnership (the first to be registered in a UK place of worship, at Ullet Road Unitarian Church(more…)


Who is my neighbour? A reflection on the 170th anniversary of Liverpool YMCA

Golden Rule poster

The Golden Rule is found in many faith traditions

This year Liverpool YMCA celebrated its 170th anniversary, and this year I became the chaplain to this extraordinary community.

My role is to listen, support, care and gently question – to be there for everyone in the organisation regardless of faith or belief. At the anniversary celebration at Liverpool Parish Church last month, I read the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and shared why it speaks to me about my experience of being with the YMCA community:

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How will you use your #PowerForGood? #AntiBullyingWeek #NoBystanders #LoveWins

powerforgoodTHIS WEEK was Anti-Bullying Week in the UK, with the theme #PowerForGood – a challenge to each of us to speak up against the culture of bullying wherever we find it.

It struck me this year that the campaign, which normally focuses on schools and youth groups, is more needed than ever for all of us, given the rise in reported incidents of hate crime in the last six months. Reported racist incidents rose by 41%, and homophobic incidents by 147%, following the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU in June. (more…)