Would this make you leave your Church?(10 Posts)
As you can guess, this is a subject that is a little delicate but I have been fuming inwardly since yesterday.
My mum and I both attend Church's in neighbouring towns (she lives about 10 miles from me). She has always attended a liberal church which is evidenced by the fact that her vicar openly gay. The Church I have always attended is conservative but has never made any blatant assertions to being homophobic (although they are anti gay marriage - maybe a warning sign).
Two weeks ago my mum went to the sister Church (let's call it SC) of mine, with her vicar (he was invited to give a talk) and when it came out that he was gay he was told that he was not welcome in that Church. The parishioners of the SC were then told not to speak to my mum or anyone else from my mum's church. As a result, she felt completely ostracised.
This weekend I have been battling with myself as to how to approach this with my church. As the SC clearly is vehemently homophobic does this mean that mine is? I would really like to bring this up with the vicar and thrash it out so to speak but worry it might create tensions where there might be none or whether I would be better of just leaving my Church altogether (where I became a Christian). It is a really special place to me but I keep on thinking of my children and how I want them to grow up.
If it is a church deal breaker for you then surely you need to know the truth sooner rather than later. Why not ask if it would be OK to invite your DMs vicar to your church to give a talk?
There must be people you can ask for a formal statement of the church's position. If you don't like what they say, find another church.
If your church is conservative in the Oxford Movement sense, then it will be fine about homosexuality.
When you say sister church, do you mean joint benefice?
I left our local, busy, family 'friendly' church for exactly this reason. A trendy lay preacher spouting horrible anti gay propaganda. It was very easy indeed to read between the lines and work out that someone from the youth group he led had dared to come out to him.
I felt such fury listening to him and sick at the thought that I was bringing my children into this environment. Didn't say why, just stopped going. I'd been a very active member for ten years - running crèche, mother and toddler groups, teaching Sunday school and holiday clubs. No one ever even phoned to ask why our family had stopped coming. It made me realise how very skin deep their love and humanity was.
Just as well. Several years later DS came out to me.
Sorry for long reply. Hectic few days - sorry, I have no idea what the Oxford Movement is. What is it? They are definitely joint benefice as we sometimes have speakers from there and we are usually invited as a church to their events.
I know I need to ask the question directly but I feel I know what the answer is now. I am like you MrsMolesworth. I have my fingers in so many pies it would be really difficult to stand back from it. I have a plan of action now: I am going to tell my vicar that I plan to go to DM's Church and watch his reaction. I have learnt this week that they my vicar and my mum's are acquainted.
There are some lovely open minded people in my church who I have had lovely open minded conversations but I just can't allow them to be the reason that I stay when I disagree so strongly with that one aspect that they teach.
I would say it would depend. The views of a SC might be completely different- depends on the type of partnership.
Also, what do you mean by the views of the church. In my experience, the views of the vicar or priest in charge can differ wildly from the views of a minority or even the majority of the congregations.
I'm made an assumption that you mean CofE, and of course you might not. Oxford Movement is the kind of High Church traditional (which is sometimes labelled conservative) but which is most definitely not homophobic (eg spearheaded gay marriage for the clergy).
I'm afraid at get a bit muddled with terms (because the allegedly liberal evangelical wing is usually much more hard line on homosexuality) and of course individual churches might be outliers if what goes with their liturgical trend.
But it is fairly rare for a conservative church to be homophobic, so it looks as if you are unlucky with your priest (who if joint benefice will be doing both your church as the problematic sister church). And yes, I think finding a congregation where you feel at home would be the right thing to do.
if the priest moves on, perhaps then you could return to your current church.
In the short term, perhaps you could just visit your DMum more often on Sundays?
Replace gay in this scenario with black/woman/unmarried parent, if any of these would make you leave then you have your answer.
Yes, high church seems far more liberal minded that the apparently modern trendy low churches that are so much more prevalent these days. I hunted for a High Anglican, gay friendly church and there isn't one for miles round here. I long for a bit of Latin, incense and grown ups with open minded kind hearts. As Med says, there are loads of different attitudes within C of E alone. No need to stick with a church which up holds values you despise, especially if they are the kind of church that insists their way is the only way to properly love and serve God.
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