“Integrity and honesty” are at the heart of “building trust and relationships” between the LGBTi community and the church, observes Revd Andrew Woodward, Bishop’s Liaison Officer for the LGBTi Community, in a video interview broadcast today on the Diocese of Chichester’s You Tube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnZlkPT4-mE&feature=youtu.be
Reflecting on his first few weeks in the newly created post, Andrew suggests that his role is really “pastoral overview and support for those who identify themselves as LGBTi” across the Diocese of Chichester.
Acknowledging that Brighton “draws people because of its creativity and diversity and its ability to live with difference” Andrew also emphasises that members of the LGBTi in other parts of the Diocese can still feel isolated.
“There is still a feeling [in some parts] that they are second class…living with stigma….so there is work still to do,” he says.
With Brighton’s international Gay Pride this weekend: http://www.brighton-pride.org/ Andrew suggests that his role is principally about “integrity and honesty throughout the church” even when there is disagreement so that “trust and relationships” can be built and strengthened.
The Church of England is currently engaged in shared conversations around issues concerning human sexuality http://www.sharedconversations.org/ .
Andrew adds: “Ultimately the question is, how are those in this community affirmed in the eyes of God?” and pledges to work to strengthen links and build awareness across the Diocese.