Friendly and Welcoming Churches in Edinburgh

Time for a quick round-up of churches which welcome and affirm gay folk over in Edinburgh. I made a plea for information last week which was forthcoming, so it is only fair to list the results.

  • Old St Paul’s has a statement on the page of its XYmonday group which says it is “inclusive group welcoming everyone regardless of gender, sexuality (+ all the usual stuff) and despite the strong church link, we are open to people of all faiths and none; we’re here to forge friendship and conversation – not to try and convert people. “
  • St Michael and all Saints has a statement on its liturgy page which says: “We are a welcoming and inclusive congregation. Jesus in the gospels responded to those who came to Him regardless of gender, sexuality, colour or class. We seek to follow Our Lord Jesus Christ in welcoming all those who seek to encounter God in our worship and through our tradition.”
  • The Rector of St James’s Leith said to me on Facebook “Let me be explicit about this: St James Leith welcomes LGBT people. We also try to be welcoming (of all) , but being human, aren’t always as good at it as we’d like to be.”
  • And St Columba’s by the Castle wins a prize for saying on its liturgy leaflet each week: “We believe God affirms all regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, background or ethnicity and we welcome any who wish to worship and share Communion with us. We welcome and support LGBT people, affirm their lives and ministries, and celebrate their relationships.”

I don’t know of any others to list. P’s and G’s used to have quite a good gay group at one time and was a place 15 years ago or so where I knew several gay people who said that they had found it an affirming place for them. I’ve a feeling that may have changed, but if anyone knows otherwise, do let me know.

I remember a while ago hearing people say, “Oh, we don’t want to say we are welcoming to lgbt people or else people will think we are a gay church, we’ll just say we’re welcoming to everyone”. That, of course is an example of people underestimating the alienation which so many LGBT folk feel towards Christianity. It is also a good example of real life ecclesiological homophobia. (If you’re actions are limited by fear of being thought gay, you are staring homophobia right in the face and in danger of perpetuating it).

There is still time for more nominations. In the mean time, whoever you are and whatever your sexuality, if you are looking for a church in Edinburgh, those four congregations listed above might be good places to start looking.