LGBTQ+

We aim to be a church that is inclusive of all, including those who are LGBTQ+. This is our intention, though we are aware that we still have much to learn.
We recognise the importance of clarity with what we mean by being LGBTQ+ inclusive so here’s a little more detail…
As with everyone who comes to St Mary’s you are welcome here on your own terms and like anyone else, we’d love to encourage you to serve and lead in any area of the church according to your gifts. We are blessed at St Mary’s to have many LGBTQ+ members, both individuals and couples, who serve and lead in our Sunday services, small groups, worship band, kids and youth teams. We understand the importance of representation so we also invite LGBTQ+ guest speakers from time to time and we have two members of our LGBTQ+ community, Ben and Essie, on our PCC (church council).

In terms of limitations, same sex marriage is not yet legal in the Church of England so we regret that we are unable to perform marriages or blessings for same sex couples. We also won’t necessarily endorse all aspects of wider LGBTQ+ political agendas (or other political agendas) as we believe the church is primarily called to extend the kingdom of God and not into politics.
 
If you have any questions for our team or you’d like to be put in touch with our PCC members Ben or Essie please get in touch.
We would love to meet you at one of our services soon!

Join our mailing list

As things begin to open up again, we’re excited to start termly LGBTQ+ gatherings and we plan on hosting conferences open to the wider church too .
Sign up below to be kept in the loop about these.

Meet Essie and Ben

LGBTQ+ members of our PCC

Ben Ashby

PCC member
Ben has been with us at St Mary's for nearly 3 years now. He was baptised at St Mary's in April 2019 and can often be found playing keys in the band on a Sunday. Ben is a composer and runs a charity that helps schools provide more music and arts.

Essie Laugharne

PCC member
Essie has been a member of St Mary’s since 2019 and is a member of the worship and youth teams. She is a professional musician living in North London and loves nothing more than soaking up arts and culture in the big city.

Resources

John Peters 'Holy Sheet'
Marcus Green 'We Need To Talk About Sexuality'
The Possibility of Difference
Marcus Green
Marcus Green makes three startlingly honest confessions. His first, that he is an Anglican; his second, that he is an evangelical; and finally, his third, that he is gay.  In this compelling, compassionate and absolutely crucial book Marcus explores attitudes towards homosexuality in the Christian faith and offers a theology of inclusion.
Undivided
Vicky Beeching
A household name in churches in the UK and US by her thirties, but faced with a major health crisis, at she decided to tell the world that she was gay. As a result, she lost her music career and livelihood, faced threats from traditionalists, developed further health issues from the stress, and had to rebuild her life almost from scratch. Despite all of this Vicky became a champion for others, fighting for LGBT equality in the church and in the corporate sector. 
Queer Prophets
Ruth Hunt
Modern-day epistles from  writers of different faiths and backgrounds. Jeanette Winterson tackles religious dogma, Rev. John Bell writes about his decision to come out later in life, Kate Bottley talks about becoming an LGBT ally and our very own Lucy Knight shares her experience of growing up as a gay Christian.