Belfast Pride 2012
Every evening from Sunday 29 July to Saturday 4 August, as the Albert Clock struck six, people gathered in St George’s Parish Church to spend 15 minutes with Christ. While there is nothing remarkable about people meeting in a church, what was significant was each of those 15 minute services was, like all of our Belfast Pride events, part of the Belfast Pride Festival. After they were over, many of the participants went on to other Belfast Pride events. Every evening we witnessed a simple fact: you can be Christian and gay.
Each evening, a different speaker lead the meditation.
|Sunday 29 July||Pádraig Ó Tuama||Fear Not|
|Monday 30 July||John O’Neill||Pied Beauty|
|Tuesday 31 July||Simon Henning||Can we remember our lines?|
|Wednesday 1 August||Michael Carchrie Campbell||We must be content to go on like pilgrims.|
|Thursday 2 August||Andrew McFarland Campbell||All One in Christ|
|Friday 3 August||Harriet Long||Can we make space for God revealing himself?|
|Saturday 4 August||Michael Carchrie Campbell||The noble task of man, to pray and to love|
The music before and after the service came mainly from Songs of Taizé – O Lord, Hear My Prayer & My Soul Is At Rest (Volume One).
Film: Love Free or Die
On Sunday 29 July we showed the film Love Free or Die, which is about Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican Bishop. Gene Robinson was shown to be brave, charismatic, and above all human.
The Parade Itself
Inspired by the events in Love Free or Die, on the day of the parade, we gathered outside St George’s Church, along with our friends from Changing Attitude Ireland, to support the Belfast Pride Parade, on both its outward and return journeys. It was a wonderful and humbling experience to get such a warm reception from the people on the parade.
Michael and I could not have done all that we did without the help of several people, including Pádraig Ó Tuama, John O’Neill, Simon Henning, Harriet Long, Father Brian Stewart, Pam Tilson, Many Mullin, and the Belfast Pride committee. Special thanks go to Mervyn Kingston and Richard O’Leary, who have broken much new ground for us, and who gave us many ideas for how we may give witness to a loving and inclusive Christianity.