“The failure of many churches to welcome, accept and include LGBTQ+ people creates stigma, loneliness, fear and denial, causing lasting damage to their wellbeing and mental health.

What is more, the scale and severity of these problems are of the gravest concern. We need safe and affirming churches as places of sanctuary for all.

I applaud all that organisations such as Oasis are doing to champion real inclusion and to engage church leaders and others with the issues of safeguarding LGBT+ people. This work is urgent in order to protect all those who are vulnerable because of their sexual or gender identity.” 

Sir Elton John

Creating Sanctuary Conference

Speaker sessions now available

This online conference took place on 17 October 2020 and was hosted by Oasis in partnership with House of Rainbow, OneBodyOneFaith, Open House and the Ozanne Foundation. Nearly 300 people took part to explore how their churches could be more inclusive, covering:

  • How to understand statutory guidance and the law
  • How to embed safe practice in churches – understanding safeguarding and the promotion of welfare
  • What good pastoral care looks like
  • How we build healthy and safer churches

See below for links to speaker videos

Key speaker sessions from Creating Sanctuary Conference

Andrea King, Chair Creating SanctuaryOctober 17, 2020See video
Jide MacAuley, House of RainbowOctober 17, 2020See video
Dave Moreton, Oasis Church WaterlooOctober 17, 2020See video
Jayne Ozanne, Ozanne FoundationOctober 17, 2020See video
Creating Sanctuary Q & AOctober 17, 2020See video
Andrea King - the 'Creating Sanctuary' ResourceOctober 17, 2020See video

What is the 'Creating Sanctuary' resource?

Every church should want to be inclusive and provide sanctuary and safety for all; especially for those who have experienced hurt, rejection or marginalisation. Yet those from the LGBTQ+ community are still faced with rejection and even ‘conversion therapy’ from churches.

The Creating Sanctuary resource provides a framework to enable churches to explore inclusion through safer and respectful dialogue, so that churches can be safe places for people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-sexual or other (LGBTQ+) even as the long-standing debates and conversations about how to read the Bible in relation to LGBTQ+ people continue.

It also aims to warn churches that they risk breaching safeguarding regulations and possible prosecution if they carry out ‘deliverance ministry’ or ‘conversion therapy’ in attempt to change the person’s sexuality.

“What churches describe as pastoral concern for those with ‘same-sex attraction’ is, in fact, a highly toxic and psychologically abusive environment where vulnerable LGBTQ+ people, many of them teenagers or even children, report that they have been taught to believe that their desires are sinful.”

Rev Steve Chalke, Founder of Oasis

Arrested for being gay

Now a leader at Oasis Church Waterloo, Dave Moreton was arrested while serving in the RAF in the 1970s, for being gay. After six months of being investigated he was discharged.

Dave had been taught that homosexuality was incompatible with Christian faith and sought prayer, counselling and deliverance in an unsuccessful attempt to change his sexuality.

Now working in education, youth work and counselling, he has, over the last decade, helped to develop Oasis’ response to inclusiveness. His main passion is the pastoral care of LGBTQ+ people.

Jayne Ozanne

'Just Love'

Jayne Ozanne is a well-known gay evangelical who works through the Ozanne Foundation to ensure full inclusion of all LGBTI people of faith in the church.

Having previously believed that being Christian and gay was not compatible, she underwent various forms of conversion therapy, including ‘deliverance ministry’ which ultimately led to her being hospitalised for mental health issues.

She has shared her story in a memoir ‘Just Love’ and is now heavily involved in campaigning for equal rights for the LGBT+ community. She tabled a Private Members Motion in July 2017 that led to the General Synod condemning Conversion Therapy and calling on the government to ban it.