A bishop will be leading the worship at Pride Cymru for the first time during the three-day festival in Cardiff this weekend.
The Bishop of St Davids, Joanna Penberthy, will be at the head of the Pride Parade on Saturday morning before joining the LGBT+ community and others at the #FaithTent. She will take part in a discussion about faith and sexuality and then lead Pride’s first even Communion service.
Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend begins on Friday and takes place on the lawns of Cardiff City Hall, in the heart of the capital city. The #FaithTent is run by The Gathering – an LGBT+ church for everyone – in partnership with the Christian group, CATAC – Changing Attitude Cymru.
Other Church in Wales leaders will also be taking part in events at the #FaithTent, which this year focuses on welcoming refugees and asylum seekers. On Saturday afternoon Penarth assistant curate, the Revd Rosemary Hill, will be talking about bi-sexual Christianity, and later Newport assistant curate, the Revd James Henley, will discuss “belonging in a disconnected world”. On Sunday, the Revd Rhian Linecar, Cardiff assistant curate, will lead Taize sung prayer and meditation and Canon Aled Edwards, chief executive of Cytun, Churches Together, will talk about “Open Inclusive Nation” before leading the closing thanksgiving service.
#FaithTent coordinator, the Revd Delyth Liddell, says, “We are delighted to be welcoming our first ever Bishop to the #FaithTent, this year, Bishop Joanna.
“The #FaithTent is all about radical welcome to a place of sanctuary, spirituality and sacred sensitivity, whatever your beliefs and faith. Our speakers throughout the weekend will be focussing on radical religious inclusivity for all, with a particular focus on how we welcome refugees and asylum seekers.”
This will be the #FaithTent’s third year at Pride Cymru. It offers information on LGBT+ religious organisations, local churches and support groups. It also provides activities for children and space for prayer. Last year it was awarded money from the Big Lottery Fund.
“The importance of being out in the community, sharing God’s love and acceptance for all, regardless of our sexuality or gender, cannot be underestimated,” says Delyth, who is also a chaplain at Cardiff University. “Year on year we have stories of people who come to the #FaithTent believing that God does not want them. The #FaithTent is there to show them that they can have faith in God because God has faith in them.”