Baptists Together for
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 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.
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.
Co-Principal, Northern Baptist College;
Core Team, Creating Sanctuary
Former General Director, BMS World Mission
Lead Pastor, Shoeburyness & Thorpe Bay Baptist Church;
BUGB Council Moderator 2015-2021
Communities Minister, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church;
Tutor for Inclusion (LGBTQI+), Northern Baptist College
Co-Principal, Northern Baptist College
Executive Director, OneBodyOneFaith;
Chair of Trustees, Affirm;
Core Team, Creating Sanctuary
Former Deputy General Secretary, BUGB;
Former Chaplain, Regent's Park College
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.
 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.
Edward Ceney (MIT)
Natalie Hughes (MIT)
Charlotte Naylor Davis
Remco van den Heuvel
Baptist Church Members
Baptist Colleges and Associations
Northern Baptist College