Two Norfolk bishops to join Norwich Pride march
Two Norfolk bishops will be taking part in the Norwich Pride march this Saturday (July 29) expressing their support for the LGBT community.
The Bishop of Thetford, Alan Winton, and Bishop David Gillett, who lives in Norfolk, will be supporting and taking part in the march.
Bishop Alan said: “I’m very happy to be part of the day and the march. It’s important to me to be present because Christians and the church are viewed by so many people today as simply homophobic. As a church we have much to learn from the experience of LGBT people.
“I firmly believe that God’s love is for all people regardless of their sexuality. As a bishop I want to support Norwich Pride and to see the church come to a fuller acceptance and welcome of LGBT people. Going on the march is a small step in that direction.”
Bishop David is the former Bishop of Bolton and since retiring he lives in Norfolk where he is an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Norwich.
He said: “It’s an opportunity for us to rejoice that God creates all people equal and with enormous variety - rainbow variety! It is a time for LGBT folk to celebrate their presence and contribution to society, and increasingly it’s becoming an opportunity for other Christians to say, ‘We love you and celebrate with you!’
“Last year I walked, as an Anglican bishop on the London Pride march and was overwhelmed by the numbers in the watching crowds who beckoned me over and asked me to bless them or pray for them. That doesn’t usually happen on the streets of London!
“This year, as I stood along the route in London with many other Christians, people on the march would see my bishop’s purple shirt and cross and come over to hug me - with enormous gratitude that here was the church saying, ‘We love you and welcome you!’ Because sadly the church has often said, ‘No!’ to the gay community. Now many of us want to be at Pride to say that God loves all equally, whether you are gay or straight. We are also there to apologise for the church’s negative attitude towards the gay community over the years.
“Sadly there are still far too many times when LGBT people are abused and sidelined - but Pride is an opportunity to share and rejoice in God’s good creation with our gay friends - and help to make a difference! That’s why I and other Christians will be there at Norwich Pride.”
Read our previous story on this topic
Pictured top is Bishop David Gillett at a recent London Pride march and, above, Bishop Alan Winton.