Category Archives: AGM

“When Sex Goes Wrong…….” (Conference 2015)

How do faith, conscience and justice inform our decisions?

How do people of faith make informed and consistent ethical choices on today’s hot topics – reproductive health issues such as abortion and contraception, 3-parent conceptions, IVF and donor insemination, polyamory and multiple relationships, use of internet and pornography, young people’s sexual behaviour and emotional well-being, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, “chem-sex” and drugs use? These are some of the topics which will figure in both the keynote presentation and panel discussions.

This is the them of our 2015 annual conference, with keynote speaker Professor Tina Beattie,  followed by open discussion and a panel discussion after lunch.

CSCS Conference Programme 2015

10:30 Arrivals, registration & refreshments

11:00 Welcome

11:15 Professor Tima Beattie

12:00 Open discussion

12:45 Lunch

13:45 CSCS AGM

14:15 Panel Discussion

16:00 Depart

All are welcome to our Annual Conference. Although the AGM is for CSCS members, all are welcome to take part, and we welcome new members and any who are interested in our work.

Cost: £25 (waged), £20 (unwaged). Price includes lunch, tea and coffee.

Venue: Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP

Booking form:

 

Annual Report 2013

In case you were beginning to think that CSCS Annual Conferences were deliberately planned to coincide with Government Consultations, I need to state very clearly that there is absolutely no collusion between CSCS and the Government Equalities Office, nor its partner Departments concerned with marriage and civil partnerships. It just proves that, small as we are, we always have our finger on the pulse! Two years ago our AGM was held only 2 days after the launch of the Government’s Consultation on Equal Civil Marriage. Last year we found ourselves in the middle of the Committee Stage of the ensuing Same-Sex Marriage Bill. This year, our AGM Conference takes place in the midst of the Consultation on the future of Civil Partnerships and the early stages of implementing the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. I urge you to respond to this latest Consultation, as well as to look at the recent Government response on Shared Building Regulations in the context of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. There are clearly practical issues in both these documents for those us on the ground to consider. I for one am unhappy at the strongly hinted attempt in the Civil Partnerships Consultation to force the civilly-partnered into the status of marriage, doing away with civil partnerships. For me, this is a conscience issue, since my view of marriage is informed theologically by the traditional Catholic view that the sacrament of marriage symbolises the union of Christ (masculine) with his Church (feminine). This essentially heterosexual paradigm is not something as a gay man I can relate to and so, in conscience, decline and conscientiously dissent.

The sacramentality of my civil partnership where we have ministered this sacrament to each other – again, traditional Catholic sacramental theology – is a civil and religious expression of the biblical vision that ‘it is not good for people to be alone’ and reflects the oft-buried, historical witness of same-sex unions, equally sacramental but distinct from the marital state. The document repeatedly refers to `ideological objections’ to marriage, not least in its comments on those opposite-sex couples who seek civil partnerships. I feel there is a certain tone of denigration in the document’s references to this. I would say that in my personal desire NOT to enter into marriage, I am exercising my right to freedom of thought, conscience, and belief in maintaining my civil partner status, not taking an ideological stance.

Once again this year’s Conference theme is as pertinent as ever – who shall speak, if we don’t?

This not only highlights the need for an ecumenical network such as CSCS to be able to contribute to these debates, but also to situate the issues within a wider context which reflects a broader discussion of concerns around human sexuality and gender identity. Across denominations, we see shifts in theological understanding and pastoral practice, from the Church of England Pilling Report to the Vatican’s ground-breaking survey of Roman Catholics on marriage and family issues, including LGB if not yet T issues, via URC & Methodist debates and decisions. Meanwhile, our friends in the Quakers, UnitarianChristianFreeChurches, Liberal and Reformed Judaism are ready to celebrate same-sex marriages.

We are, however, a dwindling and ageing band of disciples. I have come to the belief that organisations such as those which many of us support, including CSCS, are acquiring antique value. New technologies and their social communications instruments enable people gathered around particular interests, not least younger generations, to interact, far quicker, more directly, and with less administrative and bureaucratic burdens and costs. Membership in all sorts of groups and organisations, including many church congregations, tends to adopt an increasingly passive role, of being ‘done to’, rather than taking responsive, proactive action.

That said, each of you can still promote CSCS’s vision through all the other means you have available: Is our up-dated the CSCS membership leaflet in your local church leaflet-rack or information-table? If not, why not? Do you think of asking CSCS for Newsletter copies and leaflets when you attend other conferences or meetings. Does your website – personal, church or other organisation – link to CSCS?

Given the difficulties we have in CSCS in coaxing members to engage with the organisation more actively, whether through attendance at meetings, comments in the Newsletter, subscribing to Theology & Sexuality, engagement with the website, or offering their experience and skills at Committee level, we must face serious decisions regarding our future. For how long can we remain a viable independent network? Should we embark on a search to find new forms of partnership, or, who knows, even an ‘equal marriage’ of like-with-like groups.

I wish to apologise that family illness as well as a family bereavement, not least dealing with the aftermaths, has meant that since August, I have not been my usual ‘hands-on’ self in CSCS matters. I wish to thank, on your behalf, all my colleagues on the CSCS Committee for their support, as well as for their willingness to engage so selflessly in the tasks before us. We have met as a Committee three times over the past year, having to cancel a proposed end-of-year-meeting due to my bereavement and being abroad.

I know I speak for all Committee members, as well as those involved in our Theological Educators project, when I express our regret at the resignation of Rosie Martin. As transgender and intersex issues come more and more to the fore, it is vital that we embody this experience in the CSWCS Committee. I really do wish to urge CSCS members to consider if they could offer their experience as Committee members. I indicated last year that I would not stand as Chair beyond 2014-15. The challenge is there!

I particularly wish to thank Colin Hart, our Treasurer, for keeping not only our finances in good order, but also taking on the role of Membership Secretary. It has made sense to combine these roles, not least to avoid unnecessary duplication and confusion in coordinating membership subscriptions and subsequent renewals. We all deeply regret Colin’s resignation from the Committee, but recognise the pastoral burdens he has had to take on in very difficult local circumstances. We are therefore in urgent need of a new Treasurer. Future arrangements for combining the Treasurer’s role with that of Membership is something which can be left to the Committee to decide, depending on our ability to recruit a new Treasurer.

Due to my own personal circumstances since the Summer, I must also apologise for not being able to adequately pursue the Charity Commission over its administrative blunders and its website difficulties, with the disappearance into the ether of our recent submitted reports, which led to us not being able to receive Gift Aid. Anyone who has followed media coverage of Charity Commission doings over the last year will be aware of the structural mess in which it seems to find itself. As well as the introduction of a range of new regulations, this clearly has knock-on effects for small charities such as CSCS and those seeking new charitable status. As Colin notes in his Treasurer’s Report, this is urgent to pursue, and I ask, once again for your forbearance as I aim to complete this task shortly.

Anthony Woollard seemingly conjures regular editions of CSCS News almost out of nothing. We have discussed how we might manage an editor’s succession process since Anthony would dearly love to hand over the reins. If there are members with the skills required for Newsletter editing, we would like to hear from you. Again, please feel free to take extra copies of the CSCS Newsletter, present and past issues, where there is much useful material. It may well be that, as with a number of other groups, we shall have to focus our future attention on internet communications, rather than mailing paper copies, hence the need to ensure we have e-mail addresses of all those in our membership who have them.

There are others who act behind the scenes: Jane Fraser serves us as Minutes Secretary as well as continuing to be a driving force in the Theological Educators’ Project. We congratulate Jane on the up-coming 25thAnniversary of her ecclesiastical sex-worker ministry as Deacon and Priest in Upton­on-Severn, and nationally. Beyond the CSCS Committee, Andrew Yip has continued to be responsible for Newsletter mailings to members, backed up by Jane Fraser, and not least our printers for their efficient turn-around of Newsletter production, after Heather Barfoot has carried out her proof­reading. Terry Weldon has managed to turn round our previous moribund CSCS website, and he will update us on that briefly.

Sadly, our Soho venue for CSCS Committee became unavailable after last year’s January meeting, as the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, whom we thought would not be sympathetic to our aims, took over both Church and Rectory. We have however been able to use other Catholic premises for our 2013 Committee meetings in May and July. We are also grateful to the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, Campion Hall, Oxford, and Ripon College Cuddesdon for hosting meetings of the Theological Educators’ Project. As always we are grateful for the support of our Matron and Patrons, and glad that Bishop John Gladwin agreed to chair part of today’s programme. Last but not least, I thank our faithful members for their continuing support and generosity.

Beyond our Newsletter publication, our main activity has been the Theological Educators’ Project, exploring how issues of human sexuality are being dealt with in the recruitment of people for ordained and lay ministry across a range of denominations, their academic training and the support offered during such formation, as well as the level of on-going support in the growth of sexually healthy and mature pastoral ministers. We have met approximately twice of three times a year. The wider group includes Anglican, Methodist, MetropolitanCommunityChurch, Roman Catholic, and United Reformed Church members, many of whom hold particular responsibility for training and academic input in both denominational and ecumenical schemes. This has taken on new energy as we gear up for what we hope will be an exciting, major conference in July 2014, at Cuddesdon. We hope to gather key people across the denominations, responsible for all forms of ministerial training and development. We have received an initial positive response from a grant-making Trust to support this venture and I await final confirmation of the grant. Thanks to Terry Weldon, we now have a Theological Educators’ Resources page on the new website. Although commenting on the Church of England’s Common Awards theological education process, we have heard nothing further from Church House.

We continue to be frustrated by both the unheralded arrivals of new publishers as well as the infrequent appearance of the journal, Theology & Sexuality, and continue to badger both the editors and publishers about this. Indeed, this year we found the Editor contacting us for information he couldn’t lay hands on elsewhere! Jane Fraser will speak to this shortly.

I hope that CSCS members will play a part in the Cutting Edge Consortium’s 4th National Conference in April 2014, information on which is available today. We continue to enjoy contact with groups such as Changing Attitude, Inclusive Church, LGCM, Modern Church, and always look for opportunities to work together on matters of common interest. We are also a member of the National Children’s Bureau Sex Education Forum. Your Chair has co-signed a number of letters to the national press and government departments on the need for sex and relationships education to be a mandatory part of the National Curriculum.

So, like the current inundations, sex and gender, marriage and family issues show little sign of abating. No doubt there will still be storms ahead, but it is CSCS’s role to be part of this particular cutting edge, offering informed, reasoned reflection and evidence-based responses whether in the civil or religious arena. In any storm, the temptation is always to batten down the hatches, stay quietly calm, and hope that someone, somewhere, will take the prophetic role. Who will speak, if we don’t? As such, I commend to you the work of CSCS during 2013-2014.

Martin Pendergast, Chairperson – CSCS, 15 February 2014

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, 2014

held on Saturday 15th February 2014 at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham B4 7SX

1. Martin Pendergast (Chair) welcomed everyone to the meeting which was attended by 16 members.

2. Apologies were received from Chris Dowd, Mike Egan, Carla Grosch-Miller, Rosie Martin and Michael Moran.

3. The minutes of the previous AGM, held on 16th February 2013 at St Anne’s Church, Soho, London, were circulated and approved. Proposed by Hazel Barkham, seconded by Jane Fraser.

4. Matters Arising. There were no matters in the previous minutes that were not covered in the annual report for this meeting.

5. Annual Report. Martin Pendergast gave a comprehensive report of the work of CSCS over the past year, covering the work of the CSCS committee, the Theological Educators Group, the CSCS Newsletter and the journal, Theology & Sexuality. Tribute was paid to the work of the committee members and our regret at the resignation of Rosie Martin and Colin Hart. CSCS’ response to issues relating to Christianity and sexuality were also summarised. (A full copy of this report is appended.)

Terry Weldon reported on the development of the new website. Phase one has been completed with all the material taken from the old (corrupted) site and made more user-friendly and accessible. Phase two is still in production, with a dedicated page for articles relating to the Theological Educators project. He is planning a news feed, with more pictures and presentations on video. He is open to suggestions for content. The destruction of the old website caused some confusion in the short run but the numbers of hits on the new site are increasing.

Discussion of the annual report followed. Hugh Bain said he thought it was unhelpful to only have 15 minutes allocated to the AGM and suggested that if the annual report had been circulated in advance, it would have allowed for more detailed discussion.

Jane Fraser raised the question of the future of CSCS given the small number of members and their age profile. Sharon Ferguson pointed out the charity implications of closing CSCS in the future and the need for compliance with Charity Commission regulations. In response to a question about membership numbers, Colin Hart said there were 50 paid up members but Jane Fraser added that there were about 20 others in association with CSCS. A tiny trickle of members is lost each year but this is balanced by a similar number of new members.

6. Financial Report. Colin Hart presented a written report on the financial position of CSCS, noting in particular that a major outlay continues to be made on the Theological Educators Group but this project will be coming to a climax in July in the residential conference, ‘Embodied Ministry: gender, sexuality and formation’. (A full copy of this report is appended). The financial report was agreed. Proposed by Daphne Cook and seconded by Hugh Bain.

7. Election of CSCS Committee for 2014 – 2015. The following members of the committee indicated that they were willing to stand for re-election: Heather Barfoot, Jane Fraser, Michael Moran, Martin Pendergast, Terence Weldon and Anthony Woollard. John Gladwin proposed that the committee be re-elected. Matthew Prevett also indicated his willingness to stand for a two year period. Proposed by Roberta Rominger and seconded by John Gladwin.

8. A.O.B.  There was none.

Minutes of AGM, 2013

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of CSCS
Saturday 16th February 2013 
St Annes’ Church, 55 Dean Street,Soho, London W1D 6AF

  1. 1.      Welcome

Members were welcomed by Martin Pendergast (Chair).

  1. 2.      Apologies

Apologies were received from John & Daphne Cook, Mike Egan, Roberta Rominger, Carla Grosch-Miller, and Heather Barfoot.

  1. 3.      Minutes of the previous AGM – 17.3.2012

These were circulated to all present and then signed as a correct record of the meeting. Proposed by Hazel Barkham. .Seconded by Rosie Martin.

  1. 4.      Matters arising

There were no matters not already on the agenda.

  1. 5.      Annual Report

Martin Pendergast gave a summary of the developments over the past year and this was available for all present and is attached to these minutes.

Proposed by Anthony Woollard. Seconded by Jane Fraser

  1. 6.      Financial Report

A report of the financial position of CSCS was given by Colin Hart (Treasurer) and a copy is attached to these minutes. He noted that subscriptions were down slightly this year due perhaps to some new members joining at the end of the year and not being asked to renew again in January. Those who pay via Charity Aid have been prevented from doing so due to problems with the Charity Commission who have withdrawn our charity status due to problems posting our Annual Return. Most members now pay by standing order which is helpful. An anonymous donation last year has enabled us to set up a new website. There was a considerable loss on the conference last year and we aim for this year’s conference to break even thanks to support from Sybils who have funded the speakers. The Theological Educators Project is a cost to CSCS without bringing in any income but as it is nearing completion the committee are not concerned about this and hope members agree. Martin Pendergast is exploring a charitable grant to support the final stage of the Project which will be a conference of theological educators.

Assets of £4,533.36 were confirmed. Hugh Bain asked how much is being set aside to pay for the Theology & Sexuality journal. Colin Hart replied that he had paid for 2010 but 2011 had yet to be invoiced. £800+ was being held for this. The report was accepted. Proposed by Tony Crowe and seconded by Anthony Woollard. There was a vote of thanks to Mike Egan for auditing the accounts and he was unanimously proposed to continue in this role.

  1. 7.      Election of CSCS Committee 2013/2014

Heather Barfoot, Jane Fraser, Colin Hart, Rosie Martin, Michael Moran, Martin Pendergast,

Terence Weldon and Anthony Woollard were willing to stand for re-election.

Proposed by Bernard Lynch and seconded by John Gladwin

  1. 8.      Any Other Business

A question was raised about the official reasons for the delays in publishing the Journal. These were given as the increased number of such journals, open access to papers through libraries, and a reduced number of papers being submitted due to the subject matter not being so topical.

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Chair’s Annual Report 2012-13

Martin Pendergast

I presented last year’s Annual Report on the work of CSCS only two days after the launch of the Government’s Consultation on Equal Civil Marriage. This Annual Report for 2012-2013 comes in the middle of the Committee Stage of the ensuing Same-Sex Marriage Bill. In recent weeks we have also seen the European Court of Human Rights judgement’s on cases involving conflicts around religion, diversity, and human rights. Very many of us were pleased that the Court rejected the appeals of those who were found to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people in the course of their employment.

Once again, we see not only the need for an ecumenical network such as CSCS to be able to contribute to these debates, but also to situate the issues within a wider context which reflects a broader discussion of concerns around human sexuality and gender identity.

But there is still a long road to travel. In the context of today’s Conference theme on transgender and faith, I was appalled by the ignorance displayed by representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales when they appeared before the House of Commons Committee earlier on 12 February. If I may quote from the Hansard Report:

Q 83 Kate Green:  May I ask you the same question I asked the representatives of the Church of England? If an opposite-sex couple marry in a Catholic church and subsequently one member of that couple undergoes gender reassignment, do they remain married in the eyes of the Catholic Church? Under this law, they will in the eyes of the law. 

Archbishop Peter Smith : They would in the Catholic Church as well. 

Q 84 Kate Green:  They would be a same-sex couple at that point. 

Archbishop Peter Smith : Well, perhaps legally. 

Q 85 Kate Green:  So you do not accept the reassignment of gender? 

Archbishop Peter Smith : I do not accept that we can change someone’s gender. There is a real difficulty when it comes to what is called gender dysphoria: somebody who is very inclined to think someone is opposite to what they are. 

And later:

Q 104 The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities (Mrs Helen Grant):  Archbishop Smith, in relation to the transgender provisions in the Bill and to pick up a point made earlier by the hon. Member for Stretford and Urmston, you indicated that the person changing gender would be legally married but questioned whether it would be possible to do that. Can you tell me whether that person and that couple would still be treated as part of the Catholic community and welcomed with dignity and respect? 

Archbishop Peter Smith: They would certainly be part of the Catholic community, but we would not approve—the Church teaches clearly that you cannot change gender. I know that that is not the current mores out in secular society. As a priest or bishop, if somebody came along and said that they had changed their gender, I would have to say to them from the Church’s point of view, “You cannot get married.” 

The Chair:  But your point earlier was that you would none the less welcome them with respect and dignity. 

Archbishop Peter Smith: Absolutely. Always. 

This shows once again how pertinent today’s Conference is, and I particularly want to thank the Sibyls Group for being partners with us in planning today’s event.

I also wish to thank, on your behalf, all my colleagues on the CSCS Committee for their support, as well as for their willingness to engage so selflessly in the tasks before us. We have met as a Committee four times over the past year. I particularly wish to thank Colin Hart, our Treasurer, for keeping not only our finances in good order, but also taking on the role of Membership Secretary. It continues to make sense that these roles are combined, not least to avoid unnecessary duplication and confusion in coordinating membership subscriptions and subsequent renewals. You will notice that we have up-dated the CSCS membership leaflet – please take an extra copy, or copies, today to pass on to friends, or place in your church leaflet rack.

Here I must beg your forbearance for administrative blunders at the Charity Commission and its website, and the disappearance into the ether of our submitted report last year, which led to us not being able to receive Gift Aid. I am still engaged with officials trying to extricate ourselves from these difficulties, and I hope this matter will be resolved shortly.

I also want to thank Anthony Woollard for his steadfast editing of CSCS News. At our latest Committee Meeting we discussed how we might manage an editor’s succession process since Anthony would dearly love to hand over the reins of this particular horse, before he or it gets turned into a Burger or Bolognese. If there are members with the skills required for Newsletter editing, we would like to hear from you.  Again, please feel free to take extra copies of the CSCS Newsletter, present and past issues, where there is much useful material.

There are others who act behind the scenes: Jane Fraser serves us as Minutes Secretary as well as continuing to be a driving force in the Theological Educators’ Project. Beyond the Committee, Andrew Yip has continued to be responsible for Newsletter mailings to members, backed up by Jane Fraser, and not least our printers for their efficient turn-around of Newsletter production, after Heather Barfoot has carried out her proof-reading. We were delighted that Terry Weldon agreed to join the Committee and take charge of a rather moribund CSCS website, so that we now have a site which is very much fit for purpose.

We are also grateful to the Rector of the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption & St. Gregory, Soho, in affording us hospitality for our Committee meetings, to the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, and Campion Hall, Oxford, for hosting meetings of the Theological Educators’ Project. Sadly, our Soho venue will become unavailable as the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham will be taking over both Church and Rectory. Somehow, I don’t think our concerns would be shared in that arrangement. As always we are grateful for the support of our Matron and Patrons, and glad that Bishop John Gladwin agreed to chair part of today’s programme.

Beyond our Newsletter publication, our main activity has been the Theological Educators’ Project, exploring how issues of human sexuality are being dealt with in the recruitment of people for ordained and lay ministry across a range of denominations, their academic training and the support offered during such formation, as well as the level of on-going support in the growth of sexually healthy and mature pastoral ministers. We have met approximately twice of three times a year. The wider group includes Anglican, Methodist, Metropolitan Community Church, Roman Catholic, and United Reformed Church members, many of whom hold particular responsibility for training and academic input in both denominational and ecumenical schemes. This exciting work proceeds, inevitably, at a slow and steady pace, as we seek to discern what appropriately useful outcomes might emerge from our conversations.

Thanks to Terry Weldon, we now have a Theological Educators’ Resources page on the new website. We are pursuing the idea of a residential conference event, probably later in 2014 to gather key people across the denominations, responsible for all forms of ministerial training and development. We have also commented on the Church of England’s Common Awards theological education process, but rather like certain other ‘listening exercises’, this seems a long drawn out affair with not much sign of any concrete outcome in the immediate future.

We continue to be frustrated by the infrequent appearance of the journal, Theology & Sexuality, and continue to badger both the editors and publishers about this.

CSCS members have continued to play a part in the Cutting Edge Consortium and not least its 3rd National Conference in April 2012. We continue to enjoy close contact with groups such as Changing Attitude, Inclusive Church, LGCM, Modern Church, and always look for opportunities to work together on matters of common interest. We have also agreed to become a member of the National Children’s Bureau Sex Education Forum.

The debates around all aspects of human sexuality, gender identity and variation, show no sign of abating in all our churches. As long as this is so, there is a need for a network such as CSCS to play its part in responding critically, challenging constructively, and celebrating the rich diversity of all women, children and men, as the rich tapestry of human sexuality and gender created as part of God’s design, God’s work of art. As such, I commend to you the work of CSCS during 2012-2013.

CSCS Accounts year ending 31 December 2012

 Income

                                                                                                        2011

Subscriptions                           1190.00                                      1495.00

Donations (website)                1000.00                                                0

Conference                                365.00                                       595.00

Bank interest                                6.68                                            6.38

Tax refund                                302.93                                       556.84

Total                                       2864.61                                     2653.22

 

Expenditure

 

Affiliation                                       25.00                                               0

Journal (2010)                            407.00                                              0

Newsletter                                  533.30                                     525.87

Website                                     1222.81                                    158.00

Conference                                  839.98                                    297.90

Theological Educators Project    743.71                                    508.80

Committee/secretarial                 406.46                                    498.23

Lost deposit written off                       0                                      85.00

Total                                         4178.26                                  2073.80

 

Surplus/(deficit)                      (1313.65)                                 579.42

 

Balance sheet as at 31 December 2012

Community Directplus Account         2475.40                       3697.39

Business Select Instant Access A/c    2150.96                       2149.62

4628.36

                      Less uncleared cheques                           93.00

Total                                                     4533.36                       5847.01

                      Deficit 2012                                          (1313.65)

                                                                                 4533.36                                                                                                     

Conference 2013: “Gender Varying Faith”

This year’s conference of the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality will focus on a much neglected area in religious ministry, that of transgender people of faith. In partnership with the TG group, “Sibylls”, we have put together a programme that features a cross-section of the diversity that is included under the umbrella term, “transgender”, featuring two speakers in the morning session, followed by a panel discussion by additional speakers after lunch. In between the two sessions, we will fit in a short period for the business component, our AGM.

CSCS CONFERENCE PROGRAMME 2013

10.30 Arrivals, registration & refreshments
11.00 Welcome

11.15 OUR GENDERS – OUR STORIES :
Christina Beardsley & Elaine Summers, chaired by Bishop John Gladwin.
12.00 Open discussion.

12.45 Lunch

13.45 CSCS AGM

14.15 VARYING GENDERS – A panel discussion, chaired by Dr. Susannah Cornwall

16.00 Depart

 Introducing our speakers

The Revd. Dr Christina (Tina) Beardsley

grew up in West Yorkshire, was educated at Sussex University, St John’s College, Cambridge, and Westcott House, where she trained for ordination, and is married to Rob. She has worked for over three decades in pastoral ministry in the Church of England. In 2000 Tina co-founded the Clare Project, a transgender support group in Brighton & Hove: www.clareproject.org.uk Her publications include ‘The Transsexual Person Is My Neighbour: Pastoral Guidel ines for Christian Clergy, Pastors And Congregations’ , Gender Trust: www.gendertrust.org.uk & ‘Unutterable Love: The Passionate Life and Preaching of F.W. Robertson,’ Lutterworth Press. A Changing Attitude Trustee for Transgender people, Tina also co-leads the Sibyls project ‘gender, sexuality and spirituality’: www.sibyls.co.uk She has a special interest in the interplay between theology and the arts.

Elaine Sommers

is the femme name of a heterosexual male surgeon living in the SW of England. She is married, with children and grandchildren. She describes herself as bi-gendered rather than transsexual, but prefers the term trans as a looser umbrella expression of who she is. Elaine is the author of “Faith, Gender & Me“,  is a trustee of Changing Attitude and has interests in music worship, singing, Middle East peace, and travel.

Bishop John Gladwin (chair, morning session)

retired as Bishop of Chelmsford in 2009. He is a CSCS Patron, Chairperson of Citizens Advice, and Vice-President of WATCH.

Dr. Susannah Cornwall (chair, afternoon session)

is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Manchester’s Lincoln Theological Institute. Her current project is entitled Intersex, Identity and Disability: Issues for Public Policy, Healthcar e and the Church.

Booking Form

Conference booking form

 

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AGM 2012: Chair’s Report

Martin Pendergast

I present this Annual Report for 2011/2012 on the work of the Centre for the Study of Christianity & Sexuality (CSCS) only two days after the launch of the Government’s Consultation on Equal Civil Marriage. The issues which are highlighted in the Consultation Document and the debates in recent days show yet again, not only the need for an ecumenical network such as CSCS to be able to contribute to a specific debate, but also to situate the issues within a wider context which reflects a broader discussion of concerns around human sexuality. I will return to this later. Continue reading AGM 2012: Chair’s Report