LGBTI+ chaplaincy service

One of the chaplains in the Diocese of Oxford LGBTI+ Chaplaincy ServiceListening, support & prayerful affirmation for LGBTI+ people and their loved ones

The service aims to provide a safe space and dignity for every person at a time when these cannot be taken for granted.

We recently set clear expectations of inclusion and respect towards LGBTI+ people, their families and friends. Since then, we have continued to receive many requests for guidance and support. Our chaplaincy begins its work in the hope and expectation that LGBTI+ people, and those close to them, are no longer left feeling on the margins of the Church.

The LGBTI+ Chaplaincy Service is part of a diocesan-wide commitment to foster an attitude of inclusion and respect across the diversity of sexual and gender identities in our church and in the world.

Safe and confidential

We want you to feel safe reading this page and to know that any contact with the LGBTI+ Chaplaincy Service is secure and confidential. Our confidential contact form (link opens in new window) has further information.

About the chaplaincy service

Our LGBTI+ Chaplaincy Service is designed to create a safe space for people over 18 years old (and their families and friends), where they can be confident that their lived experience is listened to with compassion and respect, and that there is appropriate pastoral and spiritual care available. The chaplaincy is there for any person with questions, concerns, or pastoral needs relating to issues of gender or sexuality, at a time when these cannot be taken for granted.

The service also aims to learn from the insights of LGBTI+ people about being church together. It is an initiative of the bishop’s staff of the diocese, who are committed to this service providing the highest standard of pastoral care across the whole church and in the best traditions of the ministry of chaplaincy.

You can download a poster to advertise the chaplaincy at your church.

Why are we needed?

The LGBTI+ Chaplaincy Service is needed because LGBTI+ people within the diocese have requested it. Right now, some LGBTI+ people (and others with questions, concerns or pastoral needs relating to issues of gender or sexuality) can find it difficult to find safe places in which they can open the conversations they need to have.

The Church is seeking to understand diversity and trying to discern how to respond pastorally and theologically to the questions raised by realities such as same-sex marriage, gender variance or intersex conditions. The Church of England webpage Living in Love and Faith (LLF) explains more. However, there remain particular pastoral and spiritual needs arising from problematic encounters that LGBTI+ people often experience within the institutional Church.

The LGBTI+ Chaplains are outside the LLF process itself but are here to have conversations with you if you would like to discuss anything which the LLF discussions raise for you. If you would like to speak to someone to help enable you to access and contribute more fully to the LLF process, you can find out how to contact your local LLF advocate here.

Currently, although congregations of all theological persuasions may seek to respond in a faithfully Christian way to LGBTI+ people, there is no consistency in what this actually means. This results in LGBTI+ people sometimes not knowing how they will be greeted if they go to worship at their local church, or even if they will be permitted to serve. Tragically, there are often stories of traumatic rejection by faith communities and experiences of exclusion, isolation, bullying, and harassment. This is unacceptable.

Who is the service for?

The chaplaincy service is available to LGBTI+ people living in the Diocese of Oxford, their families and friends, clergy and pastoral leaders and anyone who has pastoral needs, concerns or questions relating to LGBTI+ people. Visit the FAQs page to find out more.

What can I expect from a chaplain?
  • They will be affirming and accepting of you;
  • They will listen to you with attentiveness and respect;
  • They will seek to understand you and your life, hopefully enabling you to gain new insights;
  • They will wish the best for you – especially in your spiritual life and walk with God;
  • They will be with you in your pain, anxiety, and in your joy;
  • They will be working within the House of Bishops' guidelines on human sexuality;
  • They will not ‘tell you what to do’, or what choices to make;
  • They will not question your integrity, your self-understanding, or your identity;
  • They will not judge you, but will seek only to understand you;
  • They will not seek to change you;
  • They will not breach your confidentiality unless they think that your life, or that of another, is in danger.

Meet the Chaplains

You can find out who the chaplains are by reading their biographies. When you're ready to get in touch with one of them, fill in the confidential form - click the button below (this will open a new window) to reach out to one of our chaplains, who will be back in touch with you.

Contact a Chaplain

Use this confidential contact form

Your privacy and safety is important. A copy of this form may be seen by the person leading this chaplaincy initiative, but no other person, other than the chaplain you are addressing your message to, will see your note.

Your email address is not captured for any other purpose than allowing the chaplain to contact you. All subsequent emails between you and the chaplain supporting you are confidential.

In the unlikely event of a chaplain not responding to you, or to raise any other concern, please email the chaplaincy team leader at inclusion@oxford.anglican.org.

Be sure to include contact details in the message description box, along with the best times to get in touch. Please also ensure that you have watched the introductory film and read each chaplain’s bio prior to contacting a chaplain.

God of Diversity - a prayer

God who delights in us,
You search us and find us out.
You love us from the inside.
Every thought and feeling, uttered and held in silence
Is known to you and precious to you.
Dwell within us.
Help us discover that you mean us to grow into who we are
And no other.
To be real, not to pretend,
To know love – given and received,
And to blossom in its liberating power.
Shelter us in your protective shadow
From those who will not accept us,
Who know us only from the outside.
Give us the peace that passes
All misunderstanding, fear and rejection
Knowing that you alone behold us, desire us, and declare us to be your own.
Amen

Words: Alison Webster

Available to print out as a postcard.


 

In this section...

Rationale and context

The reasoning for creating the LGBTI+ Chaplaincy service at the diocese.

Chaplaincy FAQs

Frequently asked questions for the diocese's LGBTI+ Chaplaincy service.

Meet the chaplains

Read the bios for each of the chaplains for the LGBTI+ chaplaincy, their gifts, and their availability.

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