Gathering Voices 2018 – speakers and breakout group leaders

Tina Beardsley, is a retired healthcare chaplain, and honorary assistant priest at St John’s Church, Fulham, London.

Christina (Tina) Beardsley, is a retired healthcare chaplain, and is honorary assistant priest at St John’s Church, Fulham, London.

From 2008 to 2016 she was Head of Multi-faith Chaplaincy, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital,  and previously a parish priest. Educated at the universities of Sussex, Cambridge (St John’s College & Westcott House) and Leeds, Tina worked mainly in the Portsmouth area before moving to London in 2001.

Tina was Changing Attitude, England’s first transgender trustee (2007-14) and continues to work for the full inclusion of LGBTI+ people in the Church of England. A core consultant member of the Coordinating Group for the Church of England’s episcopal teaching document on human identity, sexuality and marriage, Living in Love and Faith (due to report in 2020), Tina has recently been part of a research team looking at spirituality in healthcare through the lens of prayer.

Co-editor (with Michelle O’Brien) of This is My Body: hearing the theology of transgender Christians (DLT 2016) and co-author (with Chris Dowd) of Transfaith: a transgender pastoral resource (DLT 2018), she and Chris are currently writing A guide to including trans people in your church, to be published by Jessica Kingsley (in time for Christmas 2019).

As one of her friends predicted, hers is ‘a retirement in name only’!

You can follow @tina_beardsley on twitter.

Tina is presenting the Brenda Harrison Memorial Lecture.

Transgender people and the Church: a human resource

In both society and the Church transgender people tend to be problematised rather than being seen as people with gifts to share. This workshop will explore the growing confidence of trans people in church settings and the changes and adaptations churches might need to make in order to both affirm and celebrate trans people’s lives and relationships.


Brenda Harrison Memorial Lecture

We are privileged for Rev Tina Beardsley to present the 2018 lecture “From affirmation to celebration: our stories as inclusive theology” as part of the Gathering Voices 2018 conference.

The Evangelical Fellowship of lesbian and Gay Christian Groups (EFLGC) established a series of lectures as a memorial to Brenda Harrison.

Until her death in 2010, Brenda worked tirelessly for the full inclusion of LGBT people in the Anglican Communion through her involvement with Changing Attitude.

She was administrator and later a trustee for Changing Attitude, helping to create a strong, independent LGBT Anglican witness.

Brenda had also been an active member  of the Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians and served as co-convenor for several years.

In 1998 she was elected Co-President of the European Forum of Lesbian and Gay Christian Groups and attended World Council of Churches’ General Assemblies in Zimbabwe and Brazil.

In an obituary in the Church Times, Colin Coward wrote:

Brenda was an inspiration to many: a determined forerunner who campaigned as a lesbian Christian for many of the things that some now enjoy and take for granted. Brenda wanted the campaigning to continue until all are able to enjoy freedom in the Kingdom of God. Her inspiration and love touched many people over the years.

Previous lectures include:
2014 Rev Ian Stears- Handscomb Courage and faith in a pluralist society
2013 Rev Colin Coward What is she like?
2012 Rev Sharon Ferguson All God’s Children: Believing, Belonging, Beloved


Kieran Bohan

Kieran Bohan is originally from London but has been in Liverpool since 2003 and has made it home.

He trained for the Roman Catholic priesthood in his 20s, but chose not to be ordained. He is now a lay member of the leadership team at St Bride’s CofE Church in Toxteth.

In March 2016 he was commissioned by the Archdeacon of Liverpool as a Local Missional Leader with responsibility for outreach and pastoral care for the city’s LGBT community, and training around gender and sexuality issues for faith communities.

He co-ordinates Open Table, a network of ecumenical worship communities for LGBTQIA+ Christians and all who seek and inclusive church.
He is also the chaplain for YMCA Liverpool and communications officer for Modern Church.

Creating safe sacred spaces for LGBT+ Christians

Kieran Bohan will lead a breakout group on the story of Open Table – an ecumenical Christian worship community which offers a warm welcome to people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) and all who seek an inclusive Church.

It began at St Bride’s Liverpool in June 2008, now 17 Open Table communities gather across the UK, hosted by inclusive churches, serving up to 300 people each month, with more than fifty other churches exploring this Fresh Expression for their church and community.

Kieran will share a little of the history, mission, vision and values of Open Table and invite participants to consider how they might create a safe sacred space for LGBT+ Christians in their church.


Mandy McBain MBE

Mandy McBaid MBC is Client Account Manager for the Defence & Security Sector at Stonewall

Mandy McBain MBE is Client Account Manager for the Defence & Security Sector at Stonewall.

Before  joining Stonewall in 2012, she served 25 years in the Royal Navy: much of this time was before the ban was lifted preventing LGB servicemen & servicewomen serving.

Mandy established the first endorsed support network for LGBT personnel in RN and was instrumental in ensuring a Navy Board member was appointed as the LGBT Diversity Advocate. Mandy has contributed to numerous publications one of which was published in – ‘Managing Diversity in the Military: The value of inclusion in a culture of uniformity’.

Mandy was awarded an MBE on the 2012 NY Honours list for her contributions to the inclusivity agenda for the Naval Service, wider Defence and internationally, she also received an honorary degree from Exeter University in 2015 for her contributions to the field of E&D.

Continuing to raise awareness of the importance of unconditional inclusivity, Mandy believes that an understanding of this is vital when empowering people to reach their full potential. As a facilitator on all the Stonewall Leadership Programmes, including those for Allies, she encourages delegates to embrace the unique opportunity to reflect on the relationship between their identity as an LGBT person or an ally and their performance in the workplace.

Be the change you want to see

This workshop will seek to empower you to be an advocate for change in your church community, moving it from intent to action and looking at how to overcome any barriers you may encounter.

Stonewall’s Mandy McBain will be bringing considerable experience of organisational change to her workshop, much of it gained from promoting inclusivity and diversity during her 25 years in the Royal Navy and for which she was awarded an MBE in 2012.


The Rt Revd Geoff Annas is Area Bishop of Stafford

The Rt Revd Geoff Annas is Area Bishop of Stafford – one of the four Bishops who serve the Anglican Diocese of Lichfield.  He has responsibility for supporting all members of the Church of England in North Staffordshire and representing the Church to the wider Community here. He has been in post since 2010 and before this served as a Parish Priest for some 27 years in Southampton and the Old Kent Road in the centre of London.

During his training to be a priest Geoff worked at the Centrepoint Night Shelter which was then based at St Ann’s Church in Soho. He has continued to take a particular interest in the issues surrounding homelessness and mental health and well-being.
Geoff currently chairs the Hardship Commission which brings together various interested groups with the City Council to discuss the reasons for poverty in the City of Stoke on Trent and possible ways to tackle the challenges.
Geoff is also involved in providing Christian Chaplaincy to members of the entertainment industry and is himself Chaplain to the Regent Theatre in Stoke.  He has been a Street Pastor and is now a volunteer at the monthly Night Church in Hanley.  He enjoys the vibrancy of the night time economy and given half a chance will still get on the dance floor himself!
Before his Ordination as a Priest, Geoff trained and worked as a Social Worker.  He is married to Dr Ann Clover and they have two children who have now married and are both expecting their first children at the end of January!
All of Geoff’s ministry before coming to North Staffs has been in Urban Priority Areas and so he has enjoyed learning about the challenges and joys of agriculture and rural life. He sees many parallels between the issues facing urban areas and the deprivation to be found in some rural communities.
Geoff feels honoured to have been asked to speak at The Gathering Voices Conference and believes that such opportunities to listen to one another and reflect are vital to enabling all Christians to flourish in their faith.

Implementing the Bishops letter

In May 2018, the bishops of Lichfield Diocese (including the Bishop of Stafford, the Rt Revd Geoff Annas) sent a letter, Welcoming and honouring LGBT+ people to all clergy and lay ministers in the diocese. In it, the bishops are calling for a Church where LGBT+ people feel welcomed and honoured and emphasising that everyone has a place at the table.”

The letter concludes: “We want Lichfield to be a diocese in which people of any sexual orientation or gender identity feel welcomed and honoured in our churches.

In this session bishop Geoff will talk about the letter, and together will look at the practicalities and issues raised in changing the culture within the range of churches in the diocese.


Gareth Streeter

Gareth Streeter is the Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Oasis Foundation, the arm of the Oasis family that is responsible for communicating the organisation’s message.

For many years, Gareth has been working closely with Oasis Founder Steve Chalke to champion the message of LGBT inclusion within the church and drive campaigns that challenge attitudes and influence opinions and behaviours.
Gareth has been part of the Oasis family for almost 20 years since participating in the Oasis gap year programme as a youngster.  He has also served as a member of the leadership team at Oasis Church Waterloo and helped to establish an Oasis Community Hub in Croydon.
 In 2017, Gareth co-authored the report “In the Name of Love: The Church, Exclusion And LGB Mental Health Issues” which demonstrated how traditional church teaching was undermining the mental wellbeing of sexual minorities.
Gareth lives in Croydon, South London, where he is also a local ward councillor.

Rev Linda Catlow is a Methodist minister in Stoke-on-Trent

Rev Linda Catlow is Superintendent Methodist Minister of the Stoke on Trent South Circuit and Deputy Chair of the Chester and Stoke Methodist District.

She look after two churches: Trentham Methodist Church and The West End Methodist Church, Community Centre and Cafe.

Since 2002 she has been an itinerant Minister and has have enjoyed ministry in a variety of towns and with a variety of wonderful people.

This journey has been made with her husband Barry.

On days off they enjoy meeting up with our family,

relaxing watching a good film, and exploring the countryside.

 

 
 

Minister’s and mother’s view of same sex marriage

In this workshop Rev Linda Catlow will share with you the journey that God has brought her on to discover what true inclusive love means.

Her story includes the joyous wedding celebration of son and son-in-law, Jamie and Owain.  They are happy for their story to be shared with you.

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