Appeal for faith people to join Norwich Pride march
Organisers of the Norwich Pride event march this weekend are appealing for people of all faith groups to show their support by joining in the city-centre parade on July 30.
Faith at Norwich Pride organiser, Helen Simpson, said: “For a number of years a small number of Christians have protested against the Norwich Pride event. Their presence has created an atmosphere of anti-Christian feeling at the march.
“To counteract this we have been gathering together people of faith to march together in support of Pride. We would like as many people as possible to come to the march to show that many faith groups embrace people of all sexualities. Please come and meet us outside St Peter Mancroft at 12.45 on Saturday July 30, so we can march together,” said Helen.
Reacting to the call for support, Duane Elkins, leader of New Hope Christian Centre, said: “I wish the church would wake up. The reason so many people are leaving the Church is not because we are anti-gay, but we have become anti-holy. We cannot be holy if we look and act like the world. We must love those trapped in the world, but never endorse their immorality.
“If we truly loved people who are living a homosexual lifestyle, we would stand for holiness and live a life that encourages them to do so too.
“That does not mean that I endorse signs of condemnation. I remember Paul's words when he wrote, ‘It is the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance.’ If we condemn, then we forget God's grace. Not even Jesus came to the world to condemn it but to save it. He did this by setting people free and requiring them to leave their lives of sin,” said Duane.
Rev David Austin, Vicar of St Luke's church in Norwich (which is affiliated to Inclusive Church), attended the march last year. He said: "It is important for me as an Anglican vicar to march on July 30 with the LGBT community. My message is about the inclusive love of God which declares G-A-Y (God Adores You). God calls each us to become more true to ourselves as we are transformed by his love. "
Pictured above are Rev David Austin from St Luke’s and Rev Chris Wood from St John’s Timberhill at last year’s Norwich Pride Parade.