For immediate release
The international network of Changing Attitude national groups will expand later this month when the launch meeting of Changing Attitude Australia takes place.
The first meeting of the new group is being held on Sunday 25 June 2006 from 3pm to 5pm at St John’s, Bentleigh, Melbourne. The speaker at the launch will be Dr Peter Sherlock, a leading lay person in the diocese. Dr Sherlock will talk about the current climate and situation regarding gay and lesbian voices in the Australian Church.
There will be an opportunity for people to share ideas about future direction of the new group and to appoint Office Bearers.
Changing Attitude Australia is dedicated to moving forward the debate on human sexuality within the church by providing a forum for gay and lesbian voices.
A lesbian and gay Christian support group meeting in Kenya has made contact with Changing Attitude England. The group of thirty two Christians includes eighteen Anglicans, eight Presbyterians and 6 from other denominations. It is organised by a gay Anglican Kenyan priest and includes other clergy who are active and others who are supportive. They meet regularly meet to pray together and encourage one another. Retired Archbishop Dr. David Gitari and the former Attorney General Sir Charles Njonjo are both very supportive.
The group meets mostly in Nairobi because activities can be conducted there without raising a lot of suspicion. They have established a working relationship with the secular LGBT movement in Kenya and the leader will represent the fellowship at a Regional Meeting of LGBT in June. He comments: “Because of the situation on the ground we can’t work like the Nigerian Fellowship. I don’t care whether I will be thrown out of the Church but time has come for us to move out and defend our Rights.”
The work of Changing Attitude Nigeria continues to develop against a hostile Anglican Church background. Members of the five Changing Attitude groups continue to meet to encourage one another and share their stories and experience. They understand that the path to an inclusive Church and society in Nigeria for LGBT people is going to be slow and dangerous. Those members who are open about their sexuality make themselves vulnerable and few are prepared to take the risk. They are learning to be wise and self-protective, to build relationships across the Communion and learn from the experience of others. They are committed to the listening process and want their voices to be heard.
The Revd Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude England, said: “It is exciting to see the network of LGBT Anglican groups expanding into a new Province. We welcome the desire of LGBT Australian members of the Anglican Church to making progress in the debate on human sexuality, joining the other CA international groups in working for changed attitudes and an Anglican Communion which is fully inclusive.
“We are glad to be in contact with an LGBT group of Christians in Kenya. We are learning that LGBT are present in every society and culture. Thanks to the increasing publicity given to the debate about human sexuality in the Anglican Communion, such groups are discovering that they are not alone. We believe the international relationships being formed between Anglican LGBT groups are part of the way in which God is working within the Church to encourage LGBT Christians. God is providing the Church with the personal experiences which will ultimately lead to conversion away from prejudice and fear of sexual taboos.”
Changing Attitude England is a national organisation of Bishops, Priests and Lay People in the Church of England calling for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Changing Attitude England has a network of 20 groups in 22 dioceses working to support LGBT clergy and lay people and arguing for a radical change in church attitudes by witnessing to the local church through personal testimony and education.
As a founder member of Inclusive Communion, Changing Attitude England is pledged to work for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in every Province of the Anglican Communion.
For further information please contact:
Revd Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude
Tel. Office: 01380 724908
Mobile: 07770 844302
Office: 12 Lavender Gardens, London, SW11 1DL