Quest East Midlands have been doing some sterling work in dialogue with the local bishop, with some impressive fruits arising from it (for example, a diocesan Mass for LGBT Catholics, their families and friends, scheduled for October 28th). Quest members have also been busy elsewhere, working with local community groups.
The city of Leicester is regarded as one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in Britain. In November 2016, Trade Sexual Health in partnership with the St Philip’s Centre and with funding support from Leicester City Council, launched a project exploring the interface between sexuality, gender identity and belief. East Midland Quest members Greg Thornton and Gerard Swan were involved in the launch, and in the shared conversations that followed. The final stage of the project took place on Tuesday 26th September 2017 with the launch of a guidance document shaped by input from the launch and several shared conversations. Quest member, Dr Claire Jenkins, was the principal speaker at the document launch, giving an account of the work of Quest members living in the diocese of Nottingham to address the pastoral and spiritual needs of LGBT+ Catholics there in co-operation with the Bishop and others.
Quest’s strategy plan that was initiated last year, includes a decision that we need to be looking outward as well as providing mutual support to each other. By “Looking outward” is meant engaging with other organisations, both secular and in the church, to improve lgbt inclusion and protection in both church and society. The forthcoming LGBT diocesan Mass demonstrates the value of engaging with the local bishop. This report will be an invaluable resource in the region’s continuing discussions with the bishop and local clergy, demonstrating the value of working with secular organisations to improve support for LGBT people.
The guidance document, which details the experience of LGBT people of faith and makes recommendations for how faith and belief communities can respond, can be downloaded from:
Trade Sexual Health is a health and sexual health charity, providing free, confidential health advice, information and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
St Philip’s Centre is a charity set up in 2006 and is rooted in the multi-faith environment of Leicester. It has a track record of promoting positive community relations through our dialogue groups, leadership programmes for young people, charitable activities and organisation of community events.