“COVID19 has reminded us of the importance of community and the challenge of separation from our siblings, from the sacraments and from the spaces we meet in to celebrate our spiritual lives together. Quest is delighted to let you know about the proposal to stream the Clifton Diocese monthly LGBT+ Masses, now and after lockdown restrictions are lifted. For so many LGBT+ Catholics who are (or feel) prevented from accessing church spaces or who simply can’t get there, this is a great opportunity and one which we celebrate. But your support is needed to make this happen – read on for more information”
(Gerard Swan, Chair of Quest)
In late 2018, Bishop Declan Lang gave his approval to an LGBT+ ministry within the diocese of Clifton, to be based at the parish of St Nicholas of Tolentino in inner-city Bristol. This vibrant, multi-cultural parish, which has developed a wide reputation for its active engagement with issues of social justice, discrimination, and marginalisation, has proved an ideal choice.
A monthly Mass and social gathering for the LGBT+ community, family, friends and allies was held at St Nick’s from March 2019 until the beginning of lockdown. As restrictions have eased somewhat, it is now possible for these to begin again, and the first will be on August 16th at 3pm, and subsequently on the third Sunday of each month, also at 3pm.
With attendance by up to 60 people, everyone who comes receives a warm welcome, and we are delighted to have been joined on occasion by members of Quest from other parts of the country.
During lockdown and beyond the parish has streamed Sunday and weekday Mass, as well as a daily reflection by Father Richard, from a small room in the presbytery. With the possibility of gathering once more in the church, the parish is planning to install a system which will enable high-quality streaming of liturgies from the church. As a consequence, the LGBT+ Mass will then also be able to be streamed live. This will greatly increase our outreach to isolated LGBT+ Catholics and others well beyond our local area, as well as benefiting the housebound and those still nervous about returning to a physical gathering.
The total cost of the streaming equipment and cabling the church is around £5,000. Appeals within the parish and locally have already raised some £4,000. If you are able support this important ministry by making a contribution towards the outstanding cost, you can do so via PayPal using the Donate button on the parish website https://tolentino.org.uk. Please use the reference ‘Streaming’.
For credit card payments or electronic bank transfer details, please contact the Parish Administrator: 0117 909 0419 Robert.von.Hawrylak@cliftondiocese.com
In the event that more than the amount needed is raised, any surplus will go to the continuing LGBT+ ministry at St Nick’s, unless you request otherwise.
Subject to the availability of the equipment needed, we hope to have it installed and operating during September. We very much look forward to welcoming you in person or virtually!