Baptists Together for
LGBT+ Safety

A statement regarding the safeguarding of LGBT+ people in British Baptist life.

 

Baptists Together have committed in covenant relationship together to achieve excellence in safeguarding, to ensure that our churches are safer for all. Throughout Baptist life, we see evidence that Safeguarding is taken with the utmost seriousness. We commend all those throughout our Union who have made this possible – whether those in position of leadership or those at the grassroots.

 

However, only by a continuing commitment to improve areas of weakness can we work to keep our churches safe. We strongly believe that there are areas of weakness in relation to LGBT+ people.

 

Through the sharing of their experiences, many LGBT+ people have indicated that there are not sufficient safeguarding measures within Baptist contexts, including churches, colleges, and regional structures. The impact of the resultant harm has damaged peoples’ lives and led some individuals to leave Baptists Together. In these situations, we have fallen short of embodying our shared commitment to create ‘safe churches that are welcoming to all’.

 

We ask our Baptist family to specifically commit to safeguarding and protecting LGBT+ people from harm[1] in our churches. This is not dependent on everyone having the same biblical or theological views. Rather, it is based on our common humanity and the deep respect we have for all who are created in the image of God.

 

All individuals in our churches, colleges and regional/national structures are to be afforded respect, dignity and care and safeguarded from harm. Our national safeguarding policies are designed to protect our young people and vulnerable adults.  We explicitly recognise that within those groups LGBT+ people who, because of their sexuality and gender identity can be vulnerable in contexts where historically they have been invisible or marginalised, and have experienced harm.

 

Where exclusion, offensive, discriminatory, or harmful behaviour towards LGBT+ persons is identified we recognise that this behaviour must be challenged, pastoral care provided to the affected person(s) and the matter referred to the appropriate designated person for safeguarding in that place.

 

Resources to help you support LGBT+ persons are available here on the Baptists Together website as well as through the work of Affirm and OneBodyOneFaith.

 

As signatories, we seek to continue growing our response to the safeguarding of LGBT+ people. Any learnings will be offered for use in the Baptists Together safeguarding annual report to Trustees and Baptist Council.

 

This statement is issued by Baptist ministers and leaders and co-signed by those who are committed to achieving the goal of making our Baptist Churches, Colleges and Associations safer places for the LGBT+ community.

 

 

Initial signatories:

 

Andy Fitchet

Baptist Minister;

Co-Director, Affirm

 

Clara Rushbrook
Co-Principal, Northern Baptist College;

Core Team, Creating Sanctuary

David Kerrigan

Former General Director, BMS World Mission

David Mayne

Lead Pastor, Shoeburyness & Thorpe Bay Baptist Church;

BUGB Council Moderator 2015-2021

 

Dawn Cole-Savidge
Communities Minister, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church;

Co-Director, Affirm;
Tutor for Inclusion (LGBTQI+), Northern Baptist College

Glen Marshall

Co-Principal, Northern Baptist College

 

Luke Dowding
Executive Director, OneBodyOneFaith;

Chair of Trustees, Affirm;

Core Team, Creating Sanctuary

Myra Blyth

Former Deputy General Secretary, BUGB;

Former Chaplain, Regent's Park College

Simon Jones

Senior Research Fellow, and Former Vice-Principal, Spurgeon’s College;

Co-Founder, Peaceful Borders

You can add your name to this letter by completing the form below.

We are inviting both Baptist ministers and leaders, those who are in membership in a Baptist church, and colleges and regional associations to sign this letter.
The list below will be updated with signatories regularly.

 

[1] Harm is here defined as: ill treatment (including sexual abuse, exploitation and forms of ill treatment which are not physical); the impairment of health (physical and mental) or development (spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural); self-harm and neglect; and any unlawful conduct which adversely affects a person’s property, rights or interests.

Sign Your Name

Thank you for making our Baptist churches safer for LGBT+ people.

Signatories

Baptist Ministers

Jonathan Keyworth

Danny Brierley

Simon Wooman

Michael Shaw

Edward Ceney (MIT)

Nicolas Hookey

Timothy Haines

Glen Graham

David Howe

Kat Bracewell

Gill Thurgood

Michael Peat

Duncan MacLean

Alan Brand

Martin Hatfield

Emma Nash

Natalie Hughes (MIT)

Mike Parker

Ellen Price

Peter Butchers

John Goddard

Mark Welch

Juliet Kilpin

Jenny Few

Iain Pope

Ivan King

Pamela Davies

Dan Gates

Neil Brighton

Jane Henderson

Justin Kennedy

Charlotte Naylor Davis

Keith Osmund-Smith

Graham Conway-Doel

Peter Timothy

Simon Oxley

Lynsey Heslegrave

Peter Laws

Mark Elder

Jane Robson

Kenneth Roxburgh

Rob Ellis

Michael Bochenski

Julie Aylward

Jacky Storey

David Lewis

Peter Spence

Alison Mackay

John Western

Grant Hamilton

Sue Hardwidge

Martin Hardwidge

Remco van den Heuvel

Peter Dominey

Craig Gardiner

Angie Tunstall

Jo Hellenbrand

Sue Lutman

Catriona Gorton

Erica Bowler

Linda Hopkins

Bill Miller

Sandra Crawford

Simon Hall

Steve Tinning

David Hughes

Ruth Gouldbourne

Sarah Crane

Mark Ord

Claire Ord

Steff Wright

Michael Parsons

Jo Dolby

Rob Trickey

Baptist Church Members

Joshua Tinker-Reid

Sue Hedger

Avril Mackenzie-Parr

Louise Phillips

Abbie Robson

Dan Spry

Julian Wilkinson

Michael Cooper

Judy Potts

Julia Heinink

Elizabeth Crozier

Jayne Birch

Sue Barker

Mike Cornforth

Janet Kerrigan

Ruth Montacute

Su Cornforth

Derek Nash

Marion Cobham

Emma Booker

Hannah Ashton

Arkle Bell

Udoka Okonkwo

Louise Bannister

Carolyn Taylor

Wendy Higlett

Ian Brewerton

Lynne Thompson

Shân Dobinson

William Cobham

Alison Bunkle

Martin Stears-Handscomb

Sarah Luckwell

Sharon Peters

Anne King

Aoife Wright

Faye Webb

Peter Webb

Chris Watts

John Widdows

Katherine Wheatland

Jenny Moore

Josephine Hughes

David Tickett

Ann Rayner

Jack Fielding

Dave Vernalls

Robert Little

Claire Shelswell

Sarah Norris

Lyndon Hughes

Robyn Hackett

Francesca Ker-Reid

Sara Reynolds

John Lawton

Dorothy Whichelow

Baptist Colleges and Associations

Northern Baptist College