All are welcome LGBTQ+

Welcome to All!

In November 2017, our Cardinal, Vincent Nichols, asked parishes in Westminster Diocese to look at how they could become welcoming parishes to the LGBT community.  In response, in the parish of Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew, Hitchin,  in the same month, a small group of parishioners and priests began to meet to pray, discuss and discern our next steps as a parish.

This initiative was led by Fr Michael Lambert aa. In November 2018 Fr Michael was involved in an accident when he was walking back to the parish for a meeting of the ‘As I am’ group. Sadly Fr Michael did not recover and died on 2nd December 2018. The ‘As I am’ team are determined to continue his legacy as he guided the team to believe it was important that everyone in the parish feels they are loved and accepted by God and the parish as they are.

Welcome to all the Creator has created!   

Welcome to our bodies, wriggly when newborn; restless in adolescence and bursting with God given sensuality; in later life still discovering who we are; and later still, holding the wondrous memory of all that juice and joy and gift of life. 

 All these transitions given to us as a great blessing. 

Thank you God!

For our God given longing for loving friendships and relationships.     

Thank you God!

Boys will sigh for girls, and girls for boys.

Thank you God.

Boys will sigh for boys and girls for girls.

Thank you God.

Some sigh and search for their true identity 

Thank you God.

All search for their deep authentic self.

Beloved by God.

Let’s awaken, and open our hearts to the gifts each of us brings to the parish and our communities.

Let’s make ourselves ready for wholeness, and the holiness of being all together.

If you are an LGBT person and would like to talk to someone in our parish community, our priests are happy to be contacted and to offer open and friendly support.  This invitation is also extended to anyone who is a parent, family member or friend of an LGBT person.  Our priests would like to say “We are not professional counsellors.  We are always learning in our pastoral encounters.   We may be clumsy about some things we might say.  We will be there to accompany you, sharing a journey of discovery.”

Fr. Tom O’Brien – 07547 171570 –

Fr. Euloge Kasine – 07424 004647 –

Fr. Andrew O’Dell – 01462 459126

Tablet 6th April One more way to be human

Tablet 15 June 2019 Gender theory and gender reality

SCE Review of Anderson When Harry met Sally and Yarhouse Understanding Gender Dysphoria

Interesting articles / webpages

9th March 2020

20th Oct 2019

This weeks begins a series of reflections from Richard Rohr on Gender and Sexuality. Please find links below

Wide-Eyed Seeing


These links take you to a site called All Inclusive Ministries. Their mission statement gives you a good picture of what you might find on their site. There are items written from personal experience and material to help you deepen your faith, make decisions and live life to the full.


AIM invites all baptized Catholics in the diversity of their sexual orientation and gender identity to full participation in the life, worship, and mission of the Church.

Our values center on our Catholic faith and include:

  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Sensitivity
  • Hospitality
  • Faith
  • Openness
  • Diversity

Making Good Decisions

How To Pray: A Few Different Ways

From the Independent Catholic news July 8th 2019

LGBT+ Catholics at Pride in London

Nicolas, Julian, Clare, Martin at information stall

The Christian presence at the Pride in London Parade on Saturday began and ended with prayers. An ecumenical prayer breakfast was held at St Anne’s Anglican Church in Soho. Another ecumenical service took place nearby at St Giles-in-the-Fields in the evening.

Around 25 people from LGBT+ Catholics Westminster joined the Parade while others staffed an information stall in Soho Square throughout the day – the only faith-based presence in the Community Market Place. A spokesman said: “In this we are echoing Pope Francis’ call to go out to the peripheries of Church and society.” More than 3,000 people of all faiths and none, visited the stall to chat and collect information cards and leaflets.

LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council members had attended the third Pre-Pride Reception, on Tuesday, 2 July, hosted by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Ruth Bush who is a Methodist. During the Reception, Cllr Bush spoke about recent advances made in Westminster City Council including the appointment of Cllr Ian Adams as Lead Councillor on LGBT+ concerns, including related hate-crime incidence.

During the evening ecumenical service at St Giles-in-the-Fields, participants reflected on the fact it is now 50 years since the Stonewall riots. While much has been achieved, they acknowledged that more still needs to be done.

LGBT+ Catholics Westminster with friends and family next gather at Farm Street Jesuit Church, 114 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3AH for the 5.30pm Mass, on Sunday 14 July 2019, followed by refreshments in the Parish Hall.

For full article published in the Tablet on 22/6/2019 click on Nicolete Burbach – the joy of fulfillment

The 3rd LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pilgrimage to Rome ended, Sunday, 10 March 2019.

On Ash Wednesday, 6 March 2019, the 16 pilgrims, including parents and family members alongside LGBT Catholics with Pilgrimage Chaplain, Fr. David Stewart SJ, had privileged seats at the morning Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square. At the end of the General Audience the group was invited to meet Pope Francis – see attached photograph.

The Pilgrimage Leader, Martin Pendergast, a member of the LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, introduced the group to the smiling Pope Francis, explaining that they formed part of the LGBT+ pastoral ministry outreach of Westminster Diocese. Each pilgrim received a gift of a rosary from Pope Francis who shook hands with the group’s members.

Later, on Ash Wednesday afternoon, the group was able to take part in Pope Francis’ Mass & Imposition of Ashes in the Church of Santa Sabina. In the evening the Group was warmly welcomed at an Ecumenical Liturgy of the Word & Blessing of Ashes with English-speaking Anglicans, Catholics and Methodists, in the Church of St.Ignatius.

The programme included a conversation with Rome-based journalists, Christopher Lamb (The Tablet) and Robert Mickens (La Croix International) giving their perspectives on Pope Francis’ Church reform strategy, not least following the recent Vatican Sexual Abuse Summit. They were also addressed by the American moral theologian, Professor James Keenan SJ, on the Pope’s response to the 2014/2015 Synods on Marriage & Family. He focused on Pope Francis’ key-principles of “accompaniment” and “moral discernment” as vital considerations in addressing LGBT concerns.

The group celebrated Mass in the room where St.Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, died; and also in the Titular Church of Cardinal Vincent Nichols – The Most Holy Redeemer & St. Alphonsus.

Morning Prayer remembering victims of homophobia and transphobia was celebrated in the St. Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber Church, which commemorates martyrs of our own times and is run by the San Egidio Community.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Martin Pendergast – 020 8986 0807

Below a link to show the presentation of Fr. Dominic Robinson and Nick O’Shea at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin.  (Fr Dominic is now the Parish Priest for Farm Street.)

This presentation describes how LGBT+ Westminster community were welcomed to Farm Street parish, and have since contributed to the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral life of the Church.  Members of the congregation and the Parish Priest will reflect on the practical steps that made this journey possible and recount their story as Catholics. The positive impact this has had on both communities is considered, as is the learning for how other parishes may also want to extend a welcome to members of the Catholic family who are LGBT+.


Below is the final paragraph of #150 in the English text released today. It is of particular interest to our ministry to LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers:

“Many Christian communities already offer journeys of accompaniment in faith for homosexual persons: the Synod recommends that such initiatives be supported. In these journeys, people are helped to read their own history; to adhere with freedom and responsibility to their baptismal calling; to recognize the desire to belong and contribute to the life of the community; to discern the best ways of realizing this. Thus, all young people, without exception, are helped to integrate the sexual dimension of their personality more and more fully, as they grow in the quality of their relationships and move towards the gift of self.”


I hope the paragraph above and the words highlighted help you engage in respectful conversation in order to create a more welcoming Church – parish, (arch)diocese, school – for our LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers.

“Let us simply stop and start listening to our own hearts.  Then we will touch a lot of pain.  We will possibly touch a lot of anger.  We will possibly touch a lot of loneliness and anguish.  Then we will hear something deeper.  We will hear the voice of Jesus, we will hear the voice of God.  We will discover that the heart of Christ, in some mysterious way, is hidden in my heart and there, we will hear, “I love you.  You are precious to my eyes and I love you.”

Jean Vanier  (Images of Love, Words of Hope) 

Spiritual Insights for LGBT Catholics

Watch the video on YouTube

We welcome you here at Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew parish

What is the official church teaching on homosexuality?

Click on the link for a response from Fr James Martin Responding to a commonly asked question

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

From the Center for Action and Contemplation

For a series of meditations on Gender and Sexuality click below which will take you to a weekly summary and click on Sunday April 15th to start the series.

Gender and Sexuality: Week 1 Summary