Diversity Service at Chester Cathedral

The Proud Marys, LGBT choir performed at the Diversity Service

Chester Cathedral held a Diversity Service on Sunday 16 October to welcome and celebrate those from diverse and minority communities from different races, sexuality, and physical and mental abilities.

The service was attended by people from the LGBT community, those with a Global Majority heritage, and those with disabilities, as well as people who were there to show their support and share in the sermons and singing of hymns. 

You can view photos from the service on our Facebook page

The service was led by the Dean of Chesterm Tim Stratford and the Bishop of Birkenhead, Julie Conalty, and included three presentations to the congregation by the following individuals

  • Julie Okundaye: Chair of the diocesan Race and Ethnicity Forum for the Diocese of Chester
  • Ricky and Linda Montgomery: Ricky is a member of the Disability Forum for the Diocese of Chester
  • Matt Baker: Matt is the choirmaster for the LGBT choir, the Proud Marys.

Perhaps the most moving speaker at the service was the Revd Nick Bundock, Vicar of Emmanuel Didsbury, who gave a first-hand account of how his own church had gone through a period of change in its attitude towards the LGBT community after one of their congregation, 14-year-old Lizzie Lowe took her own life because she felt she would not be accepted as a gay Christian within the church.

Nick spoke about how Lizzie's death had deeply affected him and how the experience had made him completely reevaluate himself and his church, "It's a failure of religion, it's a failure of safeguarding and to my shame, my failure," he said. Nick went on to explain how he and his church "had to repent".

Nick's sermon is included in the full video of the service, which can be seen below.


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