Church & Community

Vicar/Reader's Monthly Message

Earlier this year in February, after two days of divisive debate, the Church of England voted to offer blessingsto same-sex couples but to maintain its ban on same-sex marriage. There are no authorised blessings for same-sex couples as yet but in the draft work blessings are for the individual and not the couple. This is a question of not only reconciling the human with the divine but also of a centuries-old institution adjusting to shifting social norms, & doing so in a way that reflects the diversity of its members. We all feel the  impact of these decisions & want to respond in a way that reflects our Christian faith. The vote came at a meeting of the general synod, the churches governing body, where the compromise approach was described in a variety of ways. 1. As a breakthrough. 2. A flawed compromise. 3. An outright mistake.

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, said “I know that what we proposed as a way forward does not go nearly far enough for many but too far for others, but this is a moment of hope for the church.”

As a parish we studied the Living in love & faith material as our Lent course in 2022 & it was agreed that we would support the Open Table Network which is a charity supporting LGBTQI+ people & their allies.

Our Celebration of Pride Service, the Rainbow Service,is being held on Sunday 13th August at Emmanuel. It would be great if as many as possible could attend as that would reflect the openness that the parish extends to the LGBTQI+ community across Wirral.

The Gospel reading at our Rainbow Service is John 14:1-6. This gospel reading is probably most frequently heard at funerals & usually the focus is on the many dwelling places in the Father’s House, the destination &not the journey, but the journey is equally important if not more so. 

Jesus says “I go to prepare a place for you” Jesus creates places for us all. Through these places He allows us to enter into a greater fullness of life & as his followers we should do the same. We should be creating spaces and places for all, for the LGBTQI+ community.We all want to know that there is a refuge from the troubles of this life. We want to know that we belong & that we matter. We want places to go that give us life, love, healing, joy, mercy, forgiveness, places of security, generosity & hope.

Our ability to make spaces & places for others is a quality which comes through prayer and reflection. It’s what God started ‘in the beginning’ it’s what Jesusreveals in John 14 and that God quality that lies within us means that we too can be place makers for others.

The text of the adopted motions at the General Synod,earlier this year, began with a stark acknowledgement, as the synods members said they “lament & repent” the historic harm done to LGBTQI+ people by the Church of England in its failure to welcome them. Let US not fail in welcoming the LGBTQI+ people at our Rainbow Servicenot only on August 13th at Emmanuel Church but in the years to come too.

This is a question of equality. Discrimination is not a Christian quality.


Heather & Liz.



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