The Church of England is not a safe place to be. Was it ever really?
A new report has shown that only a third of LGBT+ people feel safe in their local church. The report is based on a survey done by the Ozanne Foundation and it can be accessed at SAFEGUARDING LGBT+ CHRISTIANS SURVEY 2021 – Ozanne Foundation
It makes for stark reading.
It is clear that churches need to be much more proactive in helping LGBT+ Christians feel safe in their churches. This means that church leaders must be much more transparent about where they and their churches stand on LGBT+ issues. When we go to a new, unfamiliar church many of us are used to checking out the website first to see what the church is saying. Too often those websites hide their position rather than reveal it. We deserve much more transparency from our churches and their leadership.
What this new survey brings out into the open is that this feeling of churches being unsafe is something that is people who are not LGBT+ are completely oblivious to. Churches should be the safest of safe spaces, but all too often they are not. This needs to change.
The time for that change is now. So, this report needs to be widely read by those in church leadership at local and national level and it must be acted on.