Hinde Street Methodist Church is proud to be part of the Inclusive Church movement. Picture

We believe in inclusive Church - church which does not discriminate, on any level, on grounds of economic power, gender, mental health, physical ability, race or sexuality. We believe in Church which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ; which is scripturally faithful; which seeks to proclaim the Gospel afresh for each generation; and which, in the power of the Holy Spirit, allows all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ.

A group set up by the Church Council met regularly for a year to consider what this might mean for us as a church: what do we need to do, and how do we need to be if we are going to put this into practice?

The full report of the Inclusive Church Group, prepared for Church Council in June 2016, is available here. These are some of the group’s principles:

  • Particular categories of difference are limited in usefulness: each individual is different and may wish to define their identity, if at all, in their own way.
  • We need to incarnate in the church the sense that all are equally in the centre, rather than a sense of insiders and outsiders, with insiders fixing even unconsciously the terms on which outsiders are included.

Although the Inclusive Church Group considered various causes of exclusion in turn, a common thread running through the discussions was the need not just for tolerance but for acceptance. This led to various principles of behaviour:

  • avoid the perception of insiders and outsiders
  • avoid categorising or stereotyping people
  • avoid making assumptions about people
  • allow people to define themselves if they wish to be defined
  • make it possible for everyone to participate, regardless of economic situation or disabilities
  • be aware that everyone has gifts and can contribute in various different ways
  • encourage a sense of belonging
  • use inclusive language
  • include everyone socially – make sure no-one is left out
  • welcome newcomers
  • welcome diversity

Hinde Street Methodist Church website