Churches in the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale will be celebrating Pride this Sunday, August 20 in special services both in church and online at badshotleaandhale.org
There will be services in support of the LGBTQI+ community at St John’s, Hale, at 9.30am, at St George’s, Badshot Lea, at 10am, and St Mark’s, Upper Hale, at 11am, as well as online. The services will include special prayers, readings, hymns and talks about faith, sexuality, gender and inclusion.
Stella Wiseman, a priest in the parish and the inclusive church ambassador for Surrey, said: “We are sometimes asked why we hold Pride services.
“The first reason is we want to celebrate LGBTQI+ people in their fullness, totally loved by God. The Christian response to LGBTQI+ people has not generally been one of welcome and the Church as a whole has not felt like a safe space for many people.
“In fact, Christians have used the Bible as a weapon and the church has contributed to the political, relational and spiritual dehumanising of LGBTQI+ people. For this we repent, we denounce oppressive practices such as ‘conversion therapy’, and we ask for forgiveness.
“Here in the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale we stand with people who identify as LGBTQI+ and proclaim loudly that all people are loved by God and all people are welcome here, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We are also delighted to welcome some guest speakers, including Jayne Ozanne, who will be speaking in our online service. Jayne is a Christian and campaigner for LGBTQI+ rights and the founder and chair of the UK’s Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition.”