New era, new name
Today sees a very significant shift in the identity of two organisations that have campaigned for LGBTI+ liberation and integration in churches in England for over forty years. LGCM (formerly the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement) and Changing Attitude England become OneBodyOneFaith, united to campaign together for the changes that we need to see for LGBTI+ people to fully embraced and for their gifts and contributions to the life and mission of the church in England to be fully realised.
There have been some huge shifts in our understanding of what we'd now call the LBTQI community, and in the relationship between faith, church and society, since the Gay Christian Movement was founded in 1976. In 1987 it changed to include lesbians and became LGCM. Its work was always ecumenical, with all the churches in England. Changing Attitude separated from LGCM to work specifically with campaigning in the Church of England for change.
From the very beginning, our members and supporters have included people who don't identify as gay Christians – straight allies, both married and single, and people of other faiths and beliefs, and of no particular belief, but committed to love, truth and justice. So being a member of LGCM doesn't suggest you're a gay Christian yourself – but that you stand alongside people who do, and want to work for change.
It's really important to us that everyone who shares our commitment, as expressed in our Statement of Conviction – can feel a part of our movement for change. Over the years we have come to understand that some groups of people have a particular and distinctive contribution to make to the conversation about same-sex relationships – women, people who identify as transgender, bisexual people, and those who don't identify with male-female ways of understanding gender. We believe that all these voices are important if we're to have a proper and thoughtful conversation about sexuality and faith, about who God has created us to be, and about the nature and person of God. We need to create spaces for people's diverse experiences and stories, and to listen out, particularly, for the voices we don't usually hear.
OneBodyOneFaith begins its new era today thankful for the inheritance of faith and action that it has received from its parent bodies, and as determined as ever to make a difference in the life of Christian churches and their relationship to their LGBTI+ faithful. We know that actively supporting and embedding diversity strengthens organisations – we will work until we see that accepted and welcomed by every church in the land. Please join us – we need all our members to make this movement work – and for OneBodyOneFaith to become a reality.