Bishop to preach at LGBTQI+ service

The Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, will be preaching at this month’s Sacred service at the Cathedral.

Sacred is a new service designed to be LGBTQI+ friendly. It is organised in partnership between the College Chaplain, the Revd Clare Hayns, the Succentor, the Revd Philippa White, and local LGBTQI+ evangelicals Jayne Ozanne and the Revd Marcus Green.

All but the first service in February have had to be offered as podcasts because of the pandemic, but enthusiasm has continued with hundreds watching on Facebook or listening to the podcast on the Cathedral’s website each month.

Bishop Colin will be preaching on Acts 10: 1-18 and taking as his theme ‘True Welcome’.

‘I’m delighted to have been asked to preach at Sacred,’ he said this week. ‘I’m very conscious that the Evangelical churches have not always felt welcoming to people who are gay. It’s something that has affected my own extended family.

‘Human beings are all prone to treat other people as outsiders but the truth is that we are all insiders in the sight of God. I want to affirm all Christians, gay or straight, in their faith.’ 

‘I’m so grateful to Bishop Colin for his steadfast commitment to the LGBTQI+ community both in our diocese and beyond,’ said Jayne Ozanne.

‘He has always provided me with very warmest of welcomes and has looked for opportunities to model that to others. We are thrilled that he is able to join us this Sunday at our end of term Sacred service.’

The Revd Clare Hayns, College Chaplain, said: ‘It has been a joy to be part of the Sacred community and to be able to host this new service at the Cathedral.

‘We were initially disappointed that after such a strong first service we wouldn’t be able to physically meet together, but we’ve been delighted that the online services have been well received and have been able to provide spiritual nourishment to LGBTQI+ people and allies. We’re very much looking forward to the next stage in the journey.’

The service began as a six-month series but is to continue as a regular part of Cathedral worship and will resume at the end of September.