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UK News

Calls from students for Churches 'to be honest' with their welcome of LGBTQ+ Christians

by Alex Collett

The Student Christian Movement (SCM) have launched a campaign at this weekend's Greenbelt Festival, called 'Honest Church.'

Their campaign is calling on churches to be transparent about their welcome that LGBTQ + people will receive in their church.

The movement is asking church leaders to reflect on what they teach, impy and model with regard to LGBTQ + people.

Tom Packer-Stucki, a PhD candidate and chair of trustees at SCM said, "Churches often say that they are open and welcoming to everyone but then it turns out that the welcome is conditional. 

"If that's the case, then they need to say so. Otherwise, it can lead to hurt and rejection, and that's how people end up walking away from church."   

Revd Naomi Nixon, CEO of SCM said: "At SCM we hear real horror stories resulting from churches passively pretending they are more welcoming than they really are.

"At the same time, we know people who would try out a church if they said anything about LGBTQ+ people at all. We are needlessly letting young people down. Let's just be honest." 

SCM wants to encourage greater honesty about the true welcome that LGBTQ+ people receive in a church. 

The aim is to go beyond the Church's official stance on LGBTQ+ issues and to consider how it feels for people to be part of that Church community.

A toolkit has been published that Churches can use to help them examine themselves, and also provide suggestions for how to communicate what their welcome is like in their publicity and when students, graduates and others come and ask questions about the inclusiveness of the welcome. 

Students, graduates and anyone looking for a new church can use the Honest Church questions from the toolkit to get to the heart of what kind of church it is for LGBTQ+ people and their allies.   

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