An increasing number of Churches are openly committing to LGB+T inclusion. The Open Church Charter is a way for your church to make their position known and throw open their doors to people who are seeking an inclusive and welcoming community.
Is your church committed to LGB+T inclusion?
We believe that the good news of Jesus calls, welcomes and accepts all people into the family of his Church and that our diversity and openness are signs of his life, love and strength. But we also recognise that building a universal Church in which all are – and feel – welcomed and included is still a work in progress, not only for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, but also for members of various other communities.
This charter is intended to make a commitment on behalf of our local church in relation to the inclusion of LGB+T people.
By signing the Open Church Charter, your church can take a crucial step forward in communicating your open and inclusive approach to the local community. Please contact us to here and a member of the Open Church team will be in touch with some more information, complete the process of signing the charter and provide you with a welcome letter from Steve Chalke and ‘Open' charter artwork and social media guidelines so you can make your position know online if you choose and want to become a destination for LGB+T community members looking for their local Open Church.
The Open Church Charter
- We guarantee that any person, regardless of sexuality or gender identity will find our local church to be a place of welcome, embrace, inclusion, affirmation and sanctuary. Specifically, this means that:
- We actively foster a culture of inclusion, openness and safety for all LGBT people and ensure that their voices are recognised, sought out and heard.
- Every individual is encouraged to be as open as they desire about the nature of their sexuality, gender identity and relationships, knowing that they will find acceptance and welcome.
- All people within our church community are encouraged to participate in all sacraments offered by our church or denomination.
- All decisions about service and leadership within our church are made based on ability, gifting and vocation – sexuality or gender identity will never be reasons to bar anyone from church service, whether voluntary or employed.
- We are committed to offering active support to couples within civil partnerships and same-sex marriages.
- We actively listen and respond to any feedback that our practice – liturgical or pastoral – falls short of the commitments of this charter, or that it is exclusive of LGBT people in other unforeseen ways.
- We believe that good theology always interacts with practice. Whilst this charter is an outcome of our theological convictions, as we act on the commitments we have made, in turn our understanding of God will be deepened.
The Open Church Network would like to thank all those who have contributed to the formation of this charter and especially to acknowledge the efforts of the many LGB+T faith organisations who work tirelessly for the deeper and wider inclusion of LGB+T people within the Church.