An Inclusive Church?

Fr Ian writes:

Recent news from the wider Church has led me to reflect about the term ‘Inclusive’ as it applies to us here at St Chrysostom’s and beyond:

St C welcomeThe term ‘inclusive’ has been used in some circles simply to mean welcoming of LGBT people. Now, of course, at St Chrysostom’s we extend such a welcome, and we have done for years. However, we understand ‘inclusive’ to mean far more than that. We try to be a church that welcomes and includes people of varying backgrounds, ethnicities, sexualities, ages and faith understandings. The latter point is significant. We have people who are on the threshold of faith and those who interpret Christian teaching and faith in different ways. We wish to encourage such variety, listen to one another’s questions and views and learn from one another, as we worship at Mass together.

We try. At times we will not succeed and so we try again! Sometimes people may be unhappy because some people are included whom they think should not be, and sometimes people will be unhappy because they feel we are not inclusive enough.

10489981 B Inclusion in the Church goes very deep, and can be very challenging. For example, are we really inclusive of children when we ‘excommunicate’ them, that is, do not permit them to receive Holy Communion? Is the language in worship and song sufficiently inclusive or does it always portray God in masculine, power-focused, terms? Is our worship and our building easily accessible for those with differing disabilities?

St Chrysostom’s works to be open, inclusive and generous in approach. Inclusivity is a radical and challenging stance to take, it takes hard work and commitment. It is one we should embrace with courage as we seek to follow Jesus Christ who treated all equally.

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About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
This entry was posted in Anglican, Anglo Catholic, Christianity, Faith, LGBT, Manchester, Spirituality, St John Chrysostom and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to An Inclusive Church?

  1. Simon Marsh says:

    THANKS Fr Ian. We share your aims … with hard work and commitment … often having to try again! … always encouraged that we’re not alone. Thankfully the breath of God blows in and through and for and all around us all. – bramhallcofe.com / facebook.com/bramhall church

  2. Patrick says:

    The term inclusive means fully inclusive and requires no further definition.
    In fact to define inclusive would specify the limits of its inclusivity and thereby make it cease to be inclusive.
    Fully inclusive would also include all those people places or things that I have forgotten to include and not just the inclusion of LBG groups.
    The Love and Grace of God is inclusive.
    Definitions and Words pale against His love and Grace.
    Love one another as I have loved you is pretty inclusive

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