Wednesday 26 August 2009

Gay Sacred Space at Manchester Pride and Bishop Gene at Greenbelt

Changing Attitude is involved in two significant events this weekend. In Manchester, members of the CA groups in Liverpool and Manchester will be involved in the Gay Sacred space being created on a barge on the canal in – where else but Canal Street, the hub of Manchester’s gay quarter.

This evening a small group is continuing preparations in St Agnes Church, North Reddish. Rainbow sashes are being cut from strips of fabric, inspirational phrases printed for the Sacred Space tomorrow and finishing touches made to the panels which will decorate the barge. Decorations are also being created for the float which will form the centrepiece of the LGBT Christian presence in the parade on Saturday.

The Summer edition of ‘Forward Thinking’, the Changing Attitude newsletter, was collected from the printers yesterday. 850 copies have been mailed to our supporters and to every bishop, Diocesan Director of Ordinands, Social Responsibility Officer and Course and College Principal. A carton of supporter’s leaflets and newsletters has been posted to one of the two CA trustees who are participating in Greenbelt at Cheltenham Racecourse this weekend and they will be blogging from the festival. I'll be blogging from Manchester. If you would like to receive a copy of the newsletter, please become a supporter of Changing Attitude by completing the form on the CA web site

One of the many speakers at Greenbelt is the bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt Revd Gene Robinson. His presence has been challenged by Anglican Mainstream, a conservative organisation at the extreme end of the Anglican spectrum – anything but mainstream. AM believes that to provide a balanced presentation at Greenbelt, speakers from ex-gay organisations should have been invited. The most appropriate person to balance Bishop Gene would surely be another bishop, one opposed to the full inclusion of LGBT people at every level of church life. Were ex-gay groups to be invited, then LGCM, Changing Attitude, Courage, the Evangelical Fellowship and Accepting Evangelicals would need to be there to represent positive LGBT Christians. A truly balanced spectrum would include speakers from True Freedom Trust representing celibate gay Christians.

The BBC contacted CA this morning wanting advice about the significance of the objections to Bishop Gene’s presence. They will publish a news item on the BBC web site on Friday. The BBC understands that at least one person will be present to challenge Bishop Gene. There will also be many people supporting the full inclusion of LGBT people at Greenbelt.

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