Representatives from the Congleton Pride charity attended morning worship at Congleton United Reformed Church on Sunday as a gesture of friendship in the run up to the Congleton Pride event on 21st August.
Pride said the URC had shown “local leadership” in acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community by welcoming everyone who wanted to practise Christian worship. The church has been conducting same-sex marriages for some years.
The Rev Murray George, of URC, has been a vocal supporter of Pride and has attended several meetings with the group to explore how to drive more inclusivity and tolerance.
Sunday’s service was conducted by Dorothy Donald and the sermon discussed the practice of Holy Communion, saying that no-one should be excluded from taking part.
After the service, the Pride group chatted to members of the congregation.
Shaun Radcliffe, a founding member of Congleton Pride, said. “I have never felt so comfortable in church before. What a positive and informal atmosphere.”
James Cheffings, another Pride member, added. “It was a lovely service, and everyone has been so welcoming. I’m glad I went.”
Kay Wesley, a Congleton town councillor and trustee of Congleton Pride, said. “It was wonderful to feel such love and acceptance, a credit to the United Reformed Church. We have enjoyed working with Murray and it was a pleasure to meet the other members of the congregation.
“Dorothy summed it up for me, saying ‘our doors are open to everyone – it is as simple as that’.”
The URC, together with six other Congleton churches, will have a stall at the Congleton Pride 2021 event in Congleton town centre from 10.15am to 5.30pm on Saturday, 21st August.