All Hallows prides itself on being an inclusive church. We have become a safe haven for a handful of LGBT people who have not found the same welcome elsewhere. Inclusivity is in our DNA. If that means anything it must also mean that people who hold to what’s regarded as the traditional teaching on sexuality should also find a welcome here. That welcome and inclusivity does not mean that anyone has the freedom to wound others with their prurient questioning or by presuming that they can teach others about their lives. The basis of our welcome has been, and I believe should continue to be, that we celebrate our differences and the richness that gives us. There may be spaces we can create for honest and compassionate conversation, but never singling anyone out for special scrutiny.
In this season of Lent, perhaps we could take some time to consider the radical hospitality of Jesus. In this time of self-reflection, we might ask ourselves, who is it that I exclude, in my thinking, in my words, or in my behaviour – consciously or unconsciously? Diversity is a gift of God in Creation. By opening ourselves even more fully to difference this Lent, we may grow in our knowledge and love of God and neighbour.