I first came across Inclusive Church at Greenbelt Festival, and I remember thinking ‘that’s what church should be!’ Bob Callaghan was on the stall chatting to people, and I think I made a comment about being pleased to see his organisation present (for those who aren’t aware, he was the National Coordinator before me).
Some years later, my wife Ellie and I became Inclusive Church regional ambassadors in Nottinghamshire working alongside Jane and Ron Newsham. We worked on some events together and invited speakers like Bingo Allison and Rachel Mann to speak to our church in Mansfield.
On moving to Birmingham in 2015, we stopped being ambassadors due to other commitments, but carried on taking an interest in the work of IC. Eventually, I applied to be National Coordinator and started working for IC in 2018!
It is organisations like IC and Greenbelt which have made me hold onto my faith through some dark times in my life, when homophobia in church institutions could have made me leave. I thank God that IC continues to be a beacon for the churches, and that more and more churches are signing up and transforming themselves into places which are inclusive and affirming for all marginalised people.
Please do support our ongoing work in any way you can. We hugely appreciate all you do already.
Ruth Wilde is National Coordinator of Inclusive Church.