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One of the six values we adhere to as a church is to be An Inclusive Community. However, we are aware that the idea of inclusivity can mean different things to different people, especially in the area of human sexuality. In order to help clarify the extent of our inclusion for gay and lesbian people, we felt it would be helpful to produce this position statement.


This statement has been agreed by the church membership after a period of prayer, study, discussion and reflection. It was agreed in March 2023, and every statement has been agreed by at least 2/3rds of our membership.

Position Statement on the Inclusivity of Gay and Lesbian People

  • We begin by saying that we are deeply saddened that people who are LGBTQ+ have been treated in homophobic, unloving, and ungodly ways within some churches, and for this we are truly sorry.

  • We affirm that we are seeking to be Biblical in our approach to issues of human sexuality. We agree that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, recognising that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and is the final arbiter on all matters of faith and practice. 


  • We also affirm that we are seeking to be compassionate in our relationship with all in the LGBTQ+ community, believing we are all deeply loved by God. 


  • The majority in our church feel that we should not behave differently towards people in gay or lesbian relationships from those in heterosexual relationships.


  • We recognise that within OBC there is a range of views held about gay and lesbian relationships, and there is a range of different interpretations of the biblical teachings. We have agreed that it is possible to continue in joyful fellowship and covenant relationship in the same church with those who, through their own process of reflection and discernment, have come to a different place in their thinking than our own.

  • Our conviction as a church is that sexual activity should be reserved for committed long-term relationships (e.g. marriage), although there are some within the church who would advocate celibacy for people in gay or lesbian relationships.

  • We affirm that gay and lesbian people, including those in homosexual relationships, are welcome to participate in the life of the church, to become church members and to take part in the activities and ministries of the church.

  • We affirm that gay and lesbian people, including those in homosexual relationships, are welcome to serve in leadership positions within the church, recognising that some positions require a vote by the membership.

  • Our discussions so far have only considered our inclusivity for gay and lesbian people. We have not yet discussed a collective response to others from the LGBTQ+ community, and whilst wanting to extend our welcome and love to them, we are not yet in a position to state clearly our collective position.

If you would like to discuss this further with Steve (one of our ministers) or learn more about how our church came to this decision please click the buttons below. 

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