The meeting of 6 members of the LGB&T Anglican Coalition at Lambeth Palace with with Archbishop Justin Welby was good and positive for the six of us representing the Coalition groups, if inevitably cautious and careful.
It was a first meeting, an opportunity for the nine people present to talk briefly about ourselves and our prime focus with limited time to expand our conversation. Some were nervous. All were articulate. There were moments of real presence and connection. I was able to talk about things deeply important to me, things that energise my life and faith.
I appreciate the comments and prayerful support of many who hope for a creative, Godly outcome from the meeting. I was conscious of a host of witnesses longing for movement and change in Christian attitudes to LGB&T people.
The six of us met and prayed before and after the meeting, briefed and de-briefed together, and drank too much coffee. One of the good news stories from this morning is the way in which eight diverse LGB&T Christian organisations are working so effectively and creatively together.
Of the content of the meeting I’m saying nothing, as agreed beforehand. Ideas for future engagements were aired and I am confident that new ways of making progress are going to be explored.
In the courtyard after the meeting I met John Lee, an old pro-gay friend. John is a priest and psychotherapist and works as the clergy appointments adviser. For three years I was a member of a psychotherapeutic group for gay clergy which John supervised. In the garden museum cafe next to the Palace afterwards, I met Canon Phil Groves, responsible for Continuing Indaba, and David Chillingworth, the Primus of Scotland. All these encounters were both fortuitous and affirming.
I note that Peter Tatchell has issued a press release saying his meeting with the Archbishop earlier this afternoon is the first ever meeting between an international religious leader and a leading gay rights campaigner. Really, Peter – isn’t Changing Attitude also a leading campaigner for gay rights, and aren’t our meetings with international religious leaders recognised?