Simon Harvey writes,
It is not a sin to be attracted to people of the same sex. It is not wrong for a man to have feelings for men, nor for a woman to be sexually attracted to women.
In all kinds of situations, we learn to manage our feelings and attractions, so that they don't lead us into trouble. We can choose how we behave. But towards LGBT+ people, the wider Church has sometimes implied that simply to be gay or lesbian is morally wrong or some kind of illness. This has led to enormous suffering because there is no real evidence that a person's sexuality can be changed.
So I'm really pleased that the Church of England General Synod backed calls for a ban on conversion therapies aimed at changing a person's attraction to members of the same sex.
In our regular pastoral ministry at St Mary's, it's actually rare for people to talk with us about sex. People's concerns are much more often to do with health, relationships, money and work.
People come to ask us for prayer and support in all kinds of situations and we're always glad to respond. In every morning service, there's a prayer ministry team available for anyone who wants to talk about a need and to pray. Our homegroups are safe places for mutual support. And our children's and youth activities give our younger members confidence to explore their own thinking and needs. And our pastoral team, including our licensed lay ministers and clergy, is in regular contact with many in our church and wider community who want to talk about the challenges they face.
Our church is a safe places to be real about who we are. We never try to change anyone's sexual orientation or identity.