On Sunday, August 21, we are celebrating Pride at all of our three churches and online, here on the website.
Our services are just six days before Pride in Surrey which takes place in Camberley on August 27. Both Pride in Surrey and our Pride services are an opportunity to celebrate LGBTQI+ people in their fullness, to look back on strides toward equality, and to imagine a world where celebration and full inclusion is the norm, not an exception.
Rev’d Stella Wiseman, a minister in the parish and Inclusive Church Ambassador for Surrey, explains some of the thinking behind this: “The Christian response to LGBTQI+ people has not generally been one of welcome – far from it sadly – and unsurprisingly 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 dehumanizing of LGBTQI+ people.
“Our support for Pride is not just a way of saying sorry for the Church’s harmful actions – some of which have led to the death of some of God’s beloved children – but also an opportunity to denounce oppressive practices and ideology while also becoming more fully human ourselves. For when we dehumanise others we reduce our own humanity.
“In these services we repent of the past and we look with hope to the future. We stand with people who identify as LGBTQI+ and proclaim loudly that all people are loved by God and all people are welcome here. God is Love and we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.”
There will be special prayers and readings and invited speakers at all the services. Among those we will be welcoming are Merinda D’Aprano, published author, poet, spiritual director, preacher and retired headteacher; Ash Brockwell, an artist, poet, writer and lecturer; singer and artist Heather Golding; and Suzanne and Declan DeWitt Hall from Where True Love Is, who will take part in our online service
Please join us on Sunday, August 21. There is a service at St John’s Church, Lower Hale, at 9.30am, one at St George’s, Badshot Lea, at 10am, and one at St Mark’s, Upper Hale, at 11am. And, of course, we are online too: https://badshotleaandhale.org/online-services/
Members of the parish will also be at Pride in Surrey, both in the Pride parade and at the Christians at Pride stall.