Chaplains from three Cambridge colleges are holding inclusive services for LGBTI Christian students in the UK.
College chaplains from King’s, Trinity, and St John’s are holding the ‘radically inclusive’ sermons to show that Christianity can be inclusive.
One sermon, for example, involved the congregation sitting on rugs on the floor and listening to relaxing music.
But a service that really turned heads included a special duet performance of Reverend Andrew Hammond from King’s College and Drag Race star Courtney Act in June this year.
Reverend Hammond sang Amazing Grace on stage and then introduced the star to the crowd.
Courtney commented on stage at the time: ‘I think there’s room for more than one man in a dress up here,’ says Reverend Hammond.
— michael (@MJTravers) June 22, 2017
Another big name on the night was Austrian Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.
All LGBTI Christian students welcome
As a result of this performance, Reverend Hammond wants to create safe spaces for LGBTI Christian students at King’s College in Cambridge.
He told Varsity: ‘King’s has been famous for its liberal approach to any number of issues, not least sexuality and more recently gender identity.
‘While we have felt wholly in tune with this in the Chapel, our formal worship doesn’t really allow us to articulate it much.
‘[It] really brought home to me how widespread is the view that a priest is bound to be rather hidebound and conservative,’ he said.
Reverend Carol Barrett Ford, chaplain of St John’s College, also created an ‘Open Table’ service. The special service offers a relaxed environment combining poetry, music, video clips and/or silence.
Reverend Hammond added: ‘It’s the quality of the love that matters between people, not the gender of the lovers.’