Newsletter 28 Oct 2017

Chris and I were away for a few days last month. Alas, it wasn’t the break we’d hoped for and we returned needing a holiday! However, there’s been lots that’s good happening at the church and I can certainly attest to the saying ‘there’s no place like home’.

Our music sermon series went well and our musical director Will Mason really pulled out the stops by theming each service with songs and taize’. Rev. Alex Mabbs was a welcome guest, and both Sarah and Robert preached great sermons themed to fit the month.

This month so far we’ve hosted more amazing speakers. Caroline Lucas, Daniel Cheesman, and Rev. Peta, were all inspiring, I’m looking forward to hearing Finola Brophy speak tomorrow, and Brandan on Monday.

In the last couple of months we formed the Soul Safari 2018 Team: (Rev. Peta, Keith Fish, Isla Munro, Dameon Loukas, and myself). We are looking at a two day LGBT Mind, Body, and Spirit festival at the B-Right-On festival in February. This time it’s being held in Victoria gardens. The bar area will be used for workshops, with lots of activities going on in the main tent. Watch this space!

During the month we also formed the ‘Christian outreach group’ that will create a space for LGBTQ+ people to ask questions of faith. Throughout lent the Queerying Christianity program, brought together by James Stewart, Charlie Notley, and myself, will run  for six weeks, (exact dates to be arranged) It will pose questions like: What is the good news really? Who was Jesus? What is the Bible? What is the trinity? Does God approve of you being LGBTQ? What is Easter? on Easter Sunday we’ll be holding a baptismal service at Nigel’s pool.

I’m so glad that Rev. Peta has joined the village as associate pastor. They’ve been with us five minutes and already caused a stir! Chris sent out a press release advertising Rev. Peta’s first sermon and it was picked up by lots of organisations, some of whom are very supportive- but others that are overtly transphobic. The post was shared over 2,000 times! Thankfully the attendees were all supporters and Peta’s message was a powerful start to their ministry with us. I’m looking forward to Rev. Peta’s installation service on November 5th and very happy that Rev. Kate Harford from the Oxford chaplaincy will be preaching.

Recently the Pickle team has made three payments. One to a young man who had been released from section at hospital only to be told that his parents wouldn’t have him home. A second to a refugee in her 60’s awaiting the results of an appeal – living on red cross aid and the little we have been able to give. Another was given to a young man who’d split with his boyfriend and needed a couple of nights in a hostel whilst alternative arrangements could be made.  I also made one Sleepsafe payment of £280 to The LGBT Community Safety Forum to help a very vulnerable young man as he was found support and accommodation. Don’t forget that Mary, Linda, and James need items for their rough sleepers support run – please talk to one of them about their needs, every bit of support is appreciated.  You are making a real difference in Brighton and Hove and I’m very proud that the church reaches out in such amazing ways.

A few weeks ago I did a funeral for a local community member . Apparently in the community I’m generally known as ‘Rev. Bear’. I quite like it! The funeral went well and it had a Lord of the Rings Theme. I sang some of it in Elvish.

Sadly I saw my Spiritual director for the very last time. She has terminal cancer and isn’t able to continue seeing me. It was a difficult meeting, and a very sad goodbye. Please pray for an easy passing. Her name is Aileen.

Alas, I was on my way to the Brighton and Hove Faith in Action AGM when the exhaust fell off the car, so  I never got there. I did receive an email confirming our membership and asking if I would join the board of trustees. I thanked them very much for the offer and declined, I really don’t have the time right now for another commitment. However, if anyone else would like to represent the church on their board then please come and talk to me.

The Tuesday evening group continues the first Sunday of the month and attendance varies from 4 – 12. Those that participate talk of the special Spirit felt there, and the depth of sharing. It’s can often be a very emotional time.

You’ll notice prayer time in our worship begin to change over the next few weeks. A small prayer team, led by Rev. Peta and Stephen, are going to be planning our worship prayers. Sometimes you’ll find someone praying extemporaneously, sometimes someone will read a poem or written prayers, and sometimes you’ll meet with something completely different. Wonderful!

I was voted onto the board of the LGBT Community Safety Forum at the AGM last week. I’d been co-opted onto the team a few months ago but it’s now official. I’m looking forward to connecting with the community more deeply as we move forward.

Last month I did another two episodes of Queersay with Andrew Kay on Latest TV, and I’m due in the studio again this week.

Remember that all our board reports are available on our website. They include our finances, our board meeting minutes, and the pastor’s report. The pastor’s report is the way I let you all know what’s going on so it’s always well worth a read.

Our church is an amazing church. With so little we do so much! I’m so proud to represent you in the community and thank you for the privilege.

Much love and many blessings.

Rev. Michael.

An Invitation to: BREXIT PANEL SERIES 3

Dialogue Society and Fellowship Educational Society cordially invite you to the 3rd session of Brexit Panel Series with

Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP 


Kemptown , Brighton

The result of the June 2017 Referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the European Union reflected a much divided public opinion. Whatever positions were taken on the Referendum question, it is clear that the triggering of the Article 50 process towards a withdrawal from membership of the European Union at least potentially represents one of the most momentous combinations of social, political, economic and cultural changes to impact on the corporate planning assumptions that had been in place for government, business, society, as well as for many individuals and families, over a period of around two generations. Dialogue Society has a great pleasure to host Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP in the 3rd Session of this panel series.Mr Russell-Moyle will talk about the Brexit and itslocal / national and international effect on politics, society, community relations and cohesion.If you have any say, please join our discussion and let your voice be heard.
Date:         7th of November 2017 / 18.00-19.30

Venue: Dialogue Society 201a Church Road, BN3 2AH (Entrance is from Sackville Road)

Note: The event is FREE but donations are welcome. Please RSVP by November the  6th 5pm to or reply this email  if you are willing to join us. 

Mahmut Gunaydin


Help Lunch Positive – vote for them in this Poll!!

Dear Friends,

Lunch Positive is planning some focussed support work for women with HIV, and we have a crowd funding opportunity hopefully to raise some additional funds for this. The link to this project and how to vote for us is here 

Would you be able to help by voting for Lunch Positive, and passing this e mail onto your friends and networks etc.?

It’s a quick voting process, and just requires a simple registration. The more votes we get, the greater the possibility of getting some funding.

We’re really keen to start running these targeted support activities for women with HIV, and to expand our food provision for women and families in financial difficulty.
Any help you could give would have so much benefit, and be hugely appreciated.
Thanks, and best wishes,


Gary Pargeter – Service Manager –  07846 464384

Queer Looks – Afternoon Tea!
We would be delighted if you could join us for a spot of afternoon tea at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery on Sunday the 26th of November at 2pm. The event will be hosted by the Queer Looks Young Project Team, a group of 18-25 year olds who are helping us to put together the exhibition. The young people will be interviewing you about the outfits you are considering donating to the museum at a later date, so the afternoon tea will be a chance to get to know them a little bit better as well as to meet other potential interviewees from the LGBTQ community across Sussex.  Please confirm whether or not you are able to attend by return email and also indicate your availability for an interview from the 27th of November to the 8th of December. We can’t wait to meet you!
Interested in what’s going on over the pond? The Human Rights Campaign has all the news and views, and how they affect the LGBT community. Well worth a read.  HERE

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