A new chaplaincy service for the LGBT+ community is being started in a Welsh diocese.
The Diocese of Llandaff is providing chaplaincy to people who are seeking support, advice or understanding in their sexuality or gender in Church and Christianity.
The LGBT+ chaplaincy offers a confidential service where anyone over the age of eighteen, including their families, can be listened to with compassion and respect, and receive appropriate pastoral and spiritual care whatever their church tradition or theological convictions.
Reverend Gareth Rayner-Williams who is the leading chaplain of the team said: "I am excited by the launch of the LGBTQ+ chaplaincy. It will offer a safe space for non-judgmental listening; one where LGBT+ people will be prayerfully affirmed as equal disciples within the church. In offering this ministry, I am joined by a wonderful team of chaplains whose combined aim is to support anyone who has questions, concerns, or pastoral needs relating to issues of gender or sexuality."
The LGBT+ chaplaincy is part of a diocesan wide commitment to foster an attitude of inclusion and respect for the different sexualities and gender identities in our church and in our world.
The principles guiding the work and ministry of the chaplaincy are drawn from the safeguarding protocols agreed at the 2022 Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ lives. These principles include empowerment, protection, partnership and accountability.
Archdeacon of Llandaff Rod Green said: "As a diocese we want to offer a safe space to those exploring their sexuality and gender identity in the context of their Christian faith. I am confident we have a team of chaplains from across the church who can accompany LGBT+ Christians on that journey."
The Chaplaincy Service line opens on 25th November and the team say they will meet together through the year to share learning, reflect theologically, review safeguarding and invest in one another as a team.
Last year the Church in Wales passed legislation meaning same sex couples could have their civil partnership blessed. In April this year the Archbishop of Wales, Most Rev Andrew John said same sex weddings could be held in churches in Wales in five years.